Bank of China was formally established in February 1912 following the approval of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. From 1912 to 1949, the Bank served consecutively as the country's central bank, international exchange bank and specialised international trade bank. Fulfilling its commitment to serving the public and developing China's financial services sector, the Bank rose to a leading position in the Chinese financial industry and developed a good standing in the international financial community, despite many hardships and setbacks. After the founding of PRC, with a long history as the state-designated specialised foreign exchange and trade bank, the Bank became responsible for managing China's foreign exchange operations and provided tremendous support to nation's foreign trade development and economic infrastructure through its offering of international trade settlement, overseas fund transfer and other non-trade foreign exchange services. During China's reform and opening up period, the Bank seized the historic opportunity presented by the government's strategy of capitalising on foreign funds, advanced knowledge and equipments to boost economic development, and accomplished as the country's key foreign financing channel by building up its competitive advantages in foreign exchange business. In 1994, the Bank transformed from a specialised foreign exchange bank into a state-owned commercial bank, and then incorporated as Bank of China Limited in August 2004. The Bank was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange in June and July 2006 respectively, becoming the first Chinese commercial bank to launch an A-Share and H-Share initial public offering and achieve a dual listing in both markets. In 2011 and 2012, the Bank was enrolled as a Global Systemically Important Financial Institution for two consecutive years, the only financial institution from China or any emerging economy to be recognised as such.
As China's most international and diversified bank, Bank of China provides a comprehensive range of financial services to customers across the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and 36 overseas countries. The Bank's core business is commercial banking, including corporate banking, personal banking and financial markets services. BOC International Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary, is the Bank's investment banking arm. Bank of China Group Insurance Company Limited and Bank of China Insurance Company Limited, wholly owned subsidiaries, run the Bank's insurance business. Bank of China Group Investment Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary, undertakes the Bank's direct investment and investment management business. Bank of China Investment Management Co., Ltd., a controlled subsidiary, operates the Bank's fund management business. BOC Aviation Pte. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary, is in charge of the Bank's aircraft leasing business.
Bank of China has upheld the spirit of "pursuing excellence" throughout its hundred-year history. With adoration of the nation in its soul, integrity as its backbone, reform and innovation as its path forward and people first as its guiding principle, the Bank has built up an excellent brand image that is widely recognised within the industry and by its customers. With historic opportunities now arising, the Bank will striding forward through transformation and growing stronger through reforms, and strive to become a premier multinational bank.