China Construction Bank
The China Construction Bank was founded in 1954 and has grown to become one of the â€˜big fourâ€™ banks in China. The bank has 13,977 branches and sub-branches in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China as well as branches in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Johannesburg, and representative offices in London and New York. However, this growth has not been easy. When founded the China Construction Bank was state-owned and was checked by strictly enforced controls from government. Its main function, under direction from the Ministry of Finance, was to administer and disperse government funds for construction and other infrastructure related projects under the state economic plan.
Recently, with Chinaâ€™s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the development of a rapidly de-centralising and market-driven economy the China Construction Bank has had to deal with increasing competition. Nevertheless, â€˜Asiaweekâ€™, a Hong Kong based financial journal, ranked China Construction Bank the most profitable financial institution in Asia. The bank provides a broad array of banking products and services such as corporate banking, personal banking and treasury operations. As of the end of 2006 the bank had RMB 5448.51 billion in assets, RMB 2873.61 billion in total loans and RMB 4721.26 billion in total deposits.
In 2005 a 9% stake in the China Construction Bank was acquired by the Bank of America in a deal worth $3 billion. As a result the Bank of America hopes to dramatically increase its business in China.