Wing Lung Bank

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Wing Lung Bank Limited
永隆銀行有限公司
Type Privately owned company
Industry Finance
Founded 1933[1]
Founders Dr. Wu Yee-Sun
Headquarters Central, Hong Kong
Area served Hong Kong
Key people Chairman: Dr. Ma Weihua, CEO: Mr. Zhu Qi
Employees 1,700
Parent China Merchants Bank
Website Wing Lung Bank Ltd
Logo of Wing Lung Bank before acquired by China Merchants Bank
Wing Lung Bank headquarters. This view is from the Connaught Road Central side of the bank building, taken from Exchange Square.

Wing Lung Bank (Chinese: 永隆銀行) (former stock no: SEHK0096) is a medium-sized bank based in Hong Kong. As of December 2013, the Bank has 50 business outlets in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Macau and overseas.[2]

The bank was founded in 1933 by Dr. Wu Yee-Sun (Chinese: 伍宜孫), who owned a majority stake in the bank. It was listed in Hong Kong from 1980 to 2009 until it was acquired by China Merchants Bank. It currently employs over 1,700 people and has assets over HK$ 200 billion.

In 2008, China Merchants Bank purchased 53.12 percent of Wing Lung Bank's equity and became the largest shareholder of the bank. Dr. Ma Weihua (China Merchants Bank's President) and Dr. Zhang Guanghua (China Merchants Bank's Vice President) were appointed as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Wing Lung Bank respectively.[3]

In 2009, China Merchants Bank acquired the remaining shares of Wing Lung Bank, and it became a wholly owned subsidiary of China Merchants Bank. It was delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after 16 January 2009.[4] In May 2009, Wing Lung Bank adopted the corporate identity of China Merchants Bank.

Business areas[edit]

Wing Lung Bank is one of the oldest local Chinese banks in Hong Kong. The bank provides comprehensive banking services, including deposits, mortgages and loans, securities, commercial and corporate banking, foreign exchange, Mandatory Provident Fund services, credit cards, Internet banking, syndicated loans, corporate financing, bills, hire-purchase and leasing, and wealth management. Through its subsidiaries, the bank also provides futures and securities broking services, property management, insurance sales and underwriting.

Wing Lung Bank has 48 banking offices in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China, two overseas branches in Los Angeles and the Cayman Islands.

The Los Angeles branch, located in Alhambra, California, features the largest glass Tile mural in North America, measuring 34.5 feet (10.5 m) tall by 129.5 feet (39.5 m) wide. The mural comprises approximately 1 million pieces of glass tile set in an abstract interpretation designed to reflect the nearby San Gabriel Mountains. The mural received the 2007 Spectrum Award, the top industry award for excellence in tile design and implementation.[5]

History[edit]

1933: Wing Lung Ngan Ho, as the indigenous bank was then called, opened for business on 25 February 1933 at 37 Bonham Strand East, Hong Kong with an initial capital of HK$44,500. The business of the Bank then comprised money exchange, remittances, deposits, and the buying and selling of stocks and shares, gold bullion and Chinese Government bonds for customers. The business of the Bank grew with the years.

1937: In order to cope with the Bank's growing business, the Bank moved to more spacious premises at 112 Queen's Road, Central, Hong Kong.

1941: The Pacific War broke out and Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese. The Bank evacuated Hong Kong, and some of the staff moved to Macau where the Bank continued its business; the rest of the staff moved to Liuzhou, Guangxi, China where the "Wing Lung Jewelry & Gold Dealers" was established. In these two places the Bank continued to repay its depositors, whose confidence in the Bank was maintained.

1945: The Bank resumed operations in Hong Kong after the conclusion of the War.

1950: The Bank joined the Hong Kong Bankers' Clearing House.

1952: The Bank began to engage in documentary bill operations. In the same year the redevelopment of the Bank's old head office building was completed.

1953: The Bank became the general agent of The National Insurance Company of New Zealand Ltd for Hong Kong and Macau.

1956: The Bank was incorporated as a limited company. To cope with expanding business and the increase in staff members, the Bank premises were extended to adjacent premises previously purchased for redevelopment purposes.

1960: The Chinese name of the Bank was changed to 永隆銀行有限公司.

1965: The Bank's old head office building was redeveloped the third time to meet the expansion of its business activities.

1973: A joint celebration for the opening of the new head office building situated between Des Voeux Road Central through Connaught Road Central and the 40th Anniversary of the Bank was held. The 25-storey Head Office Building stands 300 ft (91 m) with a total floor area of over 145,000 sq ft (13,500 m2). In the same year, the Bank was reorganized as a public limited company and The Chartered Bank participated as a shareholder.

1975: The Bank's another property, "Bank Centre" a 25-storey office building in Mongkok, Kowloon was completed. The "Bank Centre" standing 300 ft (91 m) with a total floor area of more than 245,000 sq ft (22,800 m2) also houses our Mongkok Branch. In the same year the Bank installed an on-line computer system and its deposit operations have been computerised since then. At first the Bank used the services of a computer company. In 1981 the Bank set up a Computer Centre of its own, and since then operations of all the departments have gradually been computerised.

1980: Early in the year 25% of the Bank's share capital was offered for sale to the public, and shares in the Bank began to be traded on the stock exchanges in Hong Kong.

1982: The Bank joined forces with four other local Chinese banks to set up Joint Electronic Teller Services Ltd a cooperative network to provide automated teller machine service to customers.

1984: The Bank's first overseas branch was set up in Los Angeles, California, USA.

1986: The Bank's wholly owned subsidiary, Wing Lung Insurance Company Limited was authorised by the Government to engage in insurance business.

1987: Standard Chartered Bank withdrew its interest in the Bank and transferred 10% of the Bank's capital to the companies controlled by the Wu family as a result of its change in investment policy.

The Bank's wholly owned subsidiary, Hongnet Limited (now known as Wing Lung Securities Limited) was established to provide securities broking services to customers.

1992: The Development Bank of Singapore Limited acquired 10% of the Bank's share capital from the companies controlled by the Wu family and participated as a shareholder.

1994: The Bank set up its Guangzhou Representative Office, its first presence in China.

1995: The Bank began to engage in credit card operation.

1996: The Bank set up an operation centre to centralize various back-office services and tasks previously handled by individual departments and branches.

A branch office was set up in the Cayman Islands, BWI to provide off-shore banking services for customers.

1998: The Bank started to provide hire purchase and leasing services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Wing Lung Finance Limited.

Wing Lung NET Banking was launched to deliver banking service to customers via internet.

1999: The Bank set up a Representative Office in Shanghai.

The Bank joined in a partnership with other banks to set up the Bank Consortium Trust Company Limited to tap the Mandatory Provident Fund business.

The Bank introduced securities trading service through electronic channels, "Wing Lung Automated Securities" and "Wing Lung NET Banking" Services.

2000: To expand the insurance operation, the Bank partnered with other banks to set up BC Reinsurance Limited and Hong Kong Life Insurance Limited.

2001: The Bank purchased from IBM China/Hong Kong Limited the state-of-the-art teller terminal system to enhance its service to customers.

The Bank set up Wealth Management Centre to expand its wealth management service.

2002: The paid-up capital of the Bank has been increased several times in the past by the issue of bonus shares to shareholders. At 31 December 2002, the total assets of the Bank stood at HK$61.7 billion.

2004: Being the first bank approved to set up a branch on the Mainland after the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Mainland China and Hong Kong, the Bank opened its first Mainland branch in Shenzhen in early 2004.

DBS Bank Limited withdrew its interest in the Bank and transferred 10% of the Bank’s capital to Wu Jieh Yee Company Limited, one of the Bank’s substantial shareholders.

The new teller platform acquired from IBM China/Hong Kong Limited commenced operations upon completion of system development. Continuous efforts have been placed on the application of computer systems to meet customers’ demand for automated service channels as well as to strengthen management of various risks.

2005: The Bank set up a sub-branch in Nanshan, Shenzhen.


2006: The Bank celebrated the opening of its new building for Los Angeles Branch on a plot of land purchased by the Bank in the City of Alhambra, California, USA.

2007: Shenzhen Branch and Shenzhen Nanshan Sub-branch started to provide Renminbi services after obtaining approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

At 31 December 2007, the total assets of the Bank stood at HK$93 billion.

2008: On 31 January 2008, the Bank signed an agreement with Yantai City Commercial Bank, the second largest city commercial bank in Shandong Province, to acquire 4.99% of Yantai City Commercial Bank’s enlarged capital and became one of the key shareholders. (The transaction has still to be approved by Yantai City Commercial Bank’s shareholders and the relevant regulatory bodies.)

The Bank has upgraded its Shanghai Representative Office to a full branch after obtaining approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Shanghai Branch opened for business in early 2008.

The Bank commemorates its 75th Anniversary.

On 30 September 2008, China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd acquired a combined 53.12% stake in the Bank from the companies controlled by the Wu family. The Bank has become a member of the China Merchants Bank Group.

2009: The Compulsory Acquisition of the Bank’s share by China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd was completed on 15 January 2009. The Bank became a direct wholly owned subsidiary of the China Merchants Bank Group.

In order to expand its branch network, the Bank established its Des Voeux Road West Branch, China Hong Kong City flagship Branch and Mei Foo Sun Chuen Branch in April, August and September 2009 respectively.

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