Bank of China was formally established in February 1912 pursuant to the approval of Mr. Sun Yat Sen. In the following 37 years until the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, it served as the central bank, international exchange bank and the specialist foreign trade bank of the country. As the pillar of the country's financial industry during a period of turmoil, Bank of China was committed to serving the public and developing the nation's financial industry. It achieved significant developments in many areas of its business operations through prudent management and progressive reforms. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, it became the state-designated specialized foreign exchange and foreign trade bank. Having maintained and promoted a strong entrepreneurial spirit, the bank contributed substantially to the development of the country's foreign trade and to the national economy.
In 1994, following the entrenchment of the reform of the financial sector, Bank of China was converted from a specialized foreign exchange and foreign trade bank into a wholly state-owned commercial bank providing comprehensive and high quality banking services.
In 1994 and 1995, Bank of China became a note issuing bank in Hong Kong and Macau respectively.
On 26 August 2004, Bank of China Limited was formally incorporated in Beijing as a state-controlled joint stock commercial bank, opening a new chapter in its history and signalling a huge step forward in becoming a modern joint stock commercial bank with sound corporate governance practices. On June 1 2006, it was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (stock code: 3988) and on July 5 on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (stock code: 601988). These listings have increased its strength and influence in international and domestic markets, bringing splendor to a century-old brand.
Bank of China is one of the major domestic financial service providers. Its business scope covers commercial banking, investment banking and insurance. Members of the Group include BOCHK, BOCI, BOCG Insurance and other financial institutions. Its core business is commercial banking which includes corporate banking, personal banking and financial markets. In terms of tier one capital, it was ranked 17th among the world's top 1,000 banks by "The Banker" magazine in 2006.
With a history of almost a hundred years in the financial industry of China, Bank of China is well-known for its continuous business innovations and the development of many "firsts" in the domestic banking industry, while paying regard to the needs for prudence in its operations. It is widely recognized and commended by its peers and customers in international settlement, foreign exchange and trade finance. It is also the most internationalized bank in China. BOC London Branch, the first overseas branch of a Chinese bank, was established in 1929. The bank proceeded to open branches in global financial centers, and has built up its institutional network in 27 countries and regions. It was the first Chinese bank to recruit international experts and to introduce modern business management concepts into its operations, with the aim of becoming a premier international bank.
As the sole banking partner of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Bank of China will offer efficient and high quality financial services to domestic and foreign customers. It will promote and spread the Olympic spirit and contribute to the success of this magnificent sports event, thereby improving its corporate image and its value to the community.