Bank of Canton

Bank of Canton

Bank of Canton is the first Chinese-owned bank in Hong Kong. At the time, all the other banks in Hong Kong were foreign, primarily British, including the locally-incorporated but British-run Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

*1912 Several Chinese residents of the US, including members of the Fok family, founded the Bank of Canton (BoC).
*1921 BoC established a branch in Bangkok.
*1922 BoC established a branch in New York.
*1931 BoC closed the New York branch.
*1935 BoC failed. At the time it had branches in San Francisco, Bangkok, Shanghai, Canton and Hankow.
*1936 Dr. T.V. Soong reorganized BoC and it reopened. The Bank of Canton incorporated a subsidiary on July 1, 1936 in Macau, making it one of the longest established banks in Macau.
*1939 The government of Siam (Thailand), during an outreak of widespread anti-Chinese feeling, closed the local branch of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and the branches of BoC, charging the banks with facilitating illegal remittances by Chinese residents.
*1953 BoC opened a branch in Singapore.
*1968 By this time BoC already established branches in Malaysia and re-enteredThailand.
*1971 Security Pacific National Bank (SPNB) bought 69% of BoC.
*1978 SPNB tried to acquire the remaining shares but talks broke down.
*1979 BoC had nine licensed branches in HK and one each in Bangkok, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. In addition, it owned a banking subsidiary in Macau.
*1984 The boards of SPNB and BoC announced that SPNB wanted to acquire the ordinary and preference shares of the Bank of Canton it did not already own. The agreement stipulated that the management of Bank of Canton would remain in place and that Russell Fok would continue as chairman of the board. Furthermore, a company associated with Fok would be entitled, upon completion of the acquisition, to purchase a limited equity position in BoC. SPNB agreed to pay $59.31 per share for the 714,128 common shares (31%) that it did not already own for a total cost of about $42 million.
*1988 SPNB completed the acquisition of Bank of Canton and renames it Security Pacific Asian Bank.
*1992 Bank of America acquired Security Pacific Corporation and in 1993 changed Security Pacific Asian Bank’s name to Bank of America (Asia).
*1994 Arab-Malaysian Bank acquired Security Pacific Asian Bank operations in Malaysia.
*2006 China Construction Bank acquired Bank of America (Asia).

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