Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, most often abbreviated to ICBC, is a multinational Chinese bank. It is the largest bank in China, the largest bank in the world by total assets, and the biggest public company in the world.
It is one of the ‘Big Four’ state-owned commercial Chinese banks, along with China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China.
ICBC was founded in 1984 but there is a reference to it in a Chinese drama written in 2004, which states that the historical bank that is the subject of the play later became ICBC. The first international branch was opened in Luxembourg in 1999; this branch became the bank’s official European headquarters in 2011.
ICBC also has branches in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, Warsaw and Lisbon. Outside of Europe, there are additional branches in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Madrid, Karachi, Islamabad, Kuwait, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Turkey and Buenos Aires. In 2008, it became only the second Chinese bank since 1991 to be allowed to open a New York branch.
At the time of its first listing on the stock exchange in 2006, the ICBC IPO was the largest in history (more than $21billion).
ICBC’s representative office in London was opened in 1995 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank in 2003. The first London retail branch opened in 2009.
ICBC Products and Services
In the UK, ICBC offers current accounts in US dollars, Euros, pounds sterling and renminbi. The bank issues the UnionPay debit card, which is accepted in more than 100 countries around the world.
For fixed-term deposit accounts (one month, three months, six months or one year) customers must pay in a minimum of £1000 or equivalent.