Bank of Communications Limited (BoCom or BoComm), founded in 1908, is one of the largest banks in China.
Established in 1908, the Bank of Communications claims a long history in China and is one of the banks to have issued banknotes in modern Chinese history. It was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in June 2005 and the Shanghai Stock Exchange in May 2007.
In 1907, Liang Shiyi proposed the formation of a Bank of Communications to redeem the Beijing–Hankou Railway from its Belgian owners and place the railway under Chinese control. The Bank of Communications was duly formed in 1908 and provided more than half of the financing needed to buy the railway. The successful redemption enhanced the prestige of Liang's Communications Clique.
The bank's English name uses the word communications to refer to the linking of two points by a means of transportation. When the Qing Dynasty established the Ministry of Posts and Communications in 1906, the English word communications still carried this meaning. The word transportation later became the preferred English term, but the Bank retained its original English name.
In order to expand business into the overseas area, the Bank opened its first Hong Kong Branch on 27 November 1934.
Today, the Bank of Communications is amongst the top 5 leading commercial banks in China and has an extensive network of over 2,800 branches covering over 80 major cities. Apart from Hong Kong, the Bank has also established overseas branches in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and representative offices in London and Frankfurt. As of end-2002, the Bank had over 88,000 employees and a total asset reaching RMB 5.15 trillion.
Bank of Communications currently possesses 128 domestic organs[clarification needed] including 30 provincial branches, 7 directly-managed branches, 90 sub-branches managed by the provincial branches with 2,643 network organs in over 220 large- and medium-sized cities. In addition, it has established 12 overseas organs including branch banks in Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Frankfurt, Macau, Sydney, and Ho Chi Minh City, BOCOMUK in London, and representative office in Taipei. According to the ranking announced by the British journal “The Banker” concerning 1,000 worldwide banks in 2011, Bank of Communications ranked 35th for its tier l capital, entering the world’s top 50 banks for two consecutive years. Among the World’s Top 500 Enterprises listed by Fortune in 2011, Bank of Communications ranked 397th., up by 43 as compared with 2010 and entering the World’s Top 500 Enterprises for three straight years. Bank of Communications is one of the major financial service suppliers in China with its business scope covering commercial banking, securities, trust, financial leasing, fund management, insurance, offshore financial services, etc.