Heritage

Greater China

We first established our presence in China in 1925 with the opening of a branch in Xiamen and since then, have been operating without interruption for more than 90 years. 

In the early 1930s, many financial institutions were affected by the Great Depression, including OCBC Bank’s three predecessor banks - Chinese Commercial Bank, Ho Hong Bank and Oversea-Chinese Bank. The continuing crisis pushed the three banks to merge and consolidate their strengths. Mr Lee Kong Chian, then vice-chairman of Chinese Commercial Bank, led the amalgamation of the three banks to form OCBC Bank in 1932. Besides being well-known for his generous philanthropy, Mr Lee was also well-respected as the son-in-law of Mr Tan Kah Kee. Mr Tan played a key role in galvanizing overseas Chinese to help China during World War II and returned to China to join in the post-war rebuilding efforts. Both Mr Lee and Mr Tan were from Fujian Province, China. Today, Mr Lee is affectionately known as the founding father of OCBC Bank.

In August 2007, we incorporated a local entity in China, OCBC Bank (China) Limited.  It offered a suite of personal banking products and services that catered to individual financial needs, and business banking products and services to foreign companies and local enterprises operating in the market.

In July 2014, we successfully acquired Wing Hang Bank in Hong Kong.  Headquartered in Hong Kong, it was rebranded OCBC Wing Hang in Hong Kong and Macau on 1 October 2014 and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Bank on 15 October 2014.  Its subsidiary in China, Wing Hang Bank (China) Limited, was officially merged with OCBC Bank (China) Limited on July 2016 to become OCBC Wing Hang Bank (China) Limited (“OCBC Wing Hang China”).

Headquartered in Shanghai, OCBC Wing Hang China has a registered capital of RMB5 billion (S$1 billion) and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of OCBC Wing Hang in Hong Kong, which is itself, 100 per cent owned by OCBC Bank.  Its 32 branches and sub-branches span 14 major cities across both Northern and Southern China - Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Xiamen, Tianjin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Qingdao, Shaoxing and Suzhou. In the Pearl River Delta region in China, one of the country’s main hubs of economic growth, OCBC Wing Hang China has 13 branches and sub-branches, largest among the Singapore banks.

While most foreign banks in China have taken the route of expanding mainly through organic growth, we place equal emphasis on growth through local strategic alliances.  In January 2006, OCBC Bank became the first Singapore bank to make a strategic investment in a Chinese bank, when we acquired 12.2% of Bank of Ningbo (“BON”).  We have since increased our shareholding in BON to 20% in September 2014.