Top Banks in Hong Kong

By December 10, 2021No Comments

In this article, we’ll take a look at the top banks in Hong Kong. It’s important to note that when we say banks in this article, we’re referring to all institutions that accept deposits. This includes both retail banks & investment banks. If you’re looking for an article specifically on the investment banks in Hong Kong, please refer to our other article covering investment banking in Hong Kong.

As one of the world’s top three international financial centers, Hong Kong has a thriving banking industry. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) regulates the banking sector in Hong Kong. As an indicator of how powerful and important HKMA is, the agency occupies the top floor of Two IFC. Two IFC is one of the most iconic buildings in Hong Kong. If you search for Hong Kong’s skyline, chances are the pictures will feature Two IFC. Along with ICC, Two IFC is one of the most prestigious office buildings in Hong Kong. Two IFC has one major advantage over ICC in that Two IFC is in Central whereas ICC is in Kowloon. Two IFC’s tenants include titans of Wall Street, such as UBS, Baring Private Equity Asia, ADIA, and Millennium Management. HKMA, a government agency, occupies the penthouse floor of what is arguably the city’s most iconic skyscraper.

Top Banks in Hong Kong Two IFC

Banking System in Hong Kong

The HKMA regulates the Hong Kong banking through a three-tier system. Specifically, the system classifies banks into three tiers based on (i) deposit amount, (ii) deposit term and (iii) business nature. The three tiers are Licensed Banks, Deposit-Taking Companies, and Restricted License Banks. These three tiers of banks are collectively known as “Authorized Institutions” or “AI” for short under the Banking Ordinance. For American readers, “Ordinance” is just a British English word for law. Due to Hong Kong’s colonial history, the city uses British English terms, such as “Ordinance” instead of American English terms, such as naming laws with “Act” or “Bill”.

Licensed Banks can accept deposits of any size and maturity from the public. Licensed Banks can be incorporated inside or outside Hong Kong.

Deposit-Taking Companies can only accept deposits of HK$100,000 or above and maturity of at least 3 months. Deposit-Taking Companies must be incorporated in Hong Kong.

Restricted License Banks can only accept deposits of HK$500,000 and above. Restricted License Banks can be incorporated inside or outside Hong Kong.

This license classification matters more from a commercial perspective. If you’re studying the HK banking landscape, you can visit here for a detailed breakdown of banks by license.

However, if you’re a job candidate, we recommend you also look at banks from two other perspectives. First, consider the bank’s nature of business (i.e. M&A, capital markets, loans, etc). The nature of the bank’s business affects what you’ll do on a day-to-day basis. Second, consider the bank’s size. In general, larger banks have more resources and greater brand reputation. In the next section, we’ll list out the top banks in Hong Kong by license type and by assets. Many of these banks have both retail and investment banking business activities.

Top Banks in Hong Kong

Here’s our list of the top banks. We categorize it by license type and then reference their reported total amount of assets. Since this article is about banks that accept deposits, we rank the banks by assets. This is different from investment banks, which we’d rank based on M&A or capital markets volume.

Licensed Banks


HSBC is the largest bank in Hong Kong and operates throughout the Asia Pacific region and in other countries around the world.

Total Assets: HK$9,416 billion

2. Bank of China (Hong Kong)

The Bank of China is the fourth largest bank in the world.

Total Assets: HK$3,145 billion

3. Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered was founded in 1859 and is one of the most recognized banks in Hong Kong.

Total Assets: HK$2,457 billion

4. Hang Seng Bank

Hang Seng Bank is a Hong Kong-based banking and financial services company headquartered in Central, Hong Kong.

Total Assets: HK$1,760 billion

5. ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China)

Founded as a limited company on 1 January 1984, ICBC is a Chinese state-owned bank.

Total Assets: HK$931 billion

6. BEA (Bank of East Asia)

BEA is currently the largest independent local Hong Kong bank. It’s also one of two remaining family-run Hong Kong banks (the other being Dah Sing Bank).

Total Assets: HK$884 billion

7. Nanyang Commercial Bank

Established in 1949, NCB is a Hong Kong bank that focuses primarily on corporate customers.

Total Assets: HK$506 billion

8. DBS Bank

DBS Bank is a Singaporean bank with operations in Hong Kong.

Total Assets: HK$484 billion

9. China Construction Bank

China Construction Bank Corporation is one of the “big four” banks in the People’s Republic of China.

Total Assets: HK$475 billion

10. China CITIC Bank International

Founded in 1922, China CITIC Bank International is a full-service commercial bank in Hong Kong.

Total Assets: HK$393 billion


Deposit-Taking Companies

1. Public Finance

Public Finance is one of the largest financial institutions in Hong Kong. It has a total of 43 branches located in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

Total Assets: HK$7 billion

2. Kexim Asia

Kexim Asia is a subsidiary of The Export-Import Bank of Korea.

Total Assets: HK$4 billion

3. Woori Global Markets Asia

Woori Global Markets Asia is a 100% Hong Kong subsidiary of Woori Bank.

Total Assets: HK$3 billion

4. KEB Hana Global Finance

KEB Hana Global Finance provides investment banking, corporate finance, structured finance, underwriting, principal investment and other related services

Total Assets: HK$1 billion

5. BPI International Finance

BPI International Finance Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank of the Philippine Islands incorporated in Hong Kong.

Total Assets: HK$0.4 billion

6. Vietnam Finance Company

See here for more detailed information about this company.

Total Assets: HK$0.4 billion

7. Commonwealth Finance Corporation

CFCL primarily extends working capital finance to Asia Pacific companies who are involved in import/export, manufacturing, wholesale and retail businesses.

Total Assets: HK$0.3 billion

8. Corporate Finance (D.T.C.)

Established in 1982, this company also provides mortgage lending, share margin financing and commercial loans in addition to deposit taking.

Total Assets: HK$0.3 billion

9. BCOM Finance

This is a subsidiary of the Bank of Communications.

Total Assets: HK$0.3 billion

10. Fubon Credit

Fubon is one of Taiwan’s largest financial holding companies and has operations in Hong Kong.

Total Assets: HK$0.1 billion


Restricted License Banks

1. Bank of Shanghai

As the name suggests, the Bank of Shanghai is a bank based in Shanghai.

Total Assets: HK$39 billion

2. Kasikornbank Public Company

Kasikornbank, often shortened as KBank (and formerly known as the Thai Farmers Bank) is a Thailand banking company.

Total Assets: HK$20 billion

3. KDB Asia Limited

KDB Asia Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of KDB Bank in January 1986.

Total Assets: HK$19 billion

4. Siam Commercial Bank

Siam Commercial Bank is a Thai bank founded in 1907.

Total Assets: HK$16 billion

5. J.P. Morgan Securities Asia

J.P. Morgan Securities Asia was founded in 1971 and its principal line of business is the brokerage of securities.

Total Assets: HK$15 billion

6. Bank of China

The Bank of China is the fourth largest bank in the world.

Total Assets: HK$9 billion

7. Citicorp International

This is a subsidiary of Citigroup, one of America’s premier banks.

Total Assets: HK$8 billion

8. ORIX Asia Limited

ORIX Asia Limited provides equipment finance, cross-border leasing, corporation finance, vehicle finance, professional finance, and mortgage loan for properties.

Total Assets: HK$5 billion

9. Banc of America Securities Asia

This is the Hong Kong subsidiary of Bank of America.

Total Assets: HK$4 billion

10. Scotiabank

The Bank of Nova Scotia, operating as Scotiabank, is a Canadian multinational banking and financial services.

Total Assets: HK$3 billion


Preparing for a Job at Top Banks in Hong Kong

To get a job at a top bank in Hong Kong, you should possess strong analytical and financial modeling skills. Lumovest’s courses are taught by former Goldman Sachs investment banker. Our curriculum teaches you how to conduct analysis like how it’s done on at the top banks. Notably, we include great visuals and worksheets to make things easy to follow and understand. After the end of the program, you’ll also receive our professional GFIA certification. You can sign up here.

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