Bank of East Asia

Bank Of East Asia

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Bank of East Asia

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The Bank of East Asia Limited () (,) often abbreviated to BEA, is the largest independent local bank and the third largest bank in Hong Kong. Its chairman and chief executive is Sir David Li.

It was founded in Hong Kong in 1918 and has since grown to a HK$68.4 billion (US$8.5 billion) market capitalization as at February 27 2011, with consolidated assets of US$50.85 billion (as at 30 June 2008). It is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as BEA. The Bank of East Asia has 91 retail branches in Hong Kong, as well as 60 in mainland China and around 30 in the United States, Canada and Britain. Worldwide, the bank employs more than 10,800 people.

In 1995, BEA acquired United Chinese Bank, which was fully merged with the bank in 2001. In 2000 it acquired First Pacific Bank.

Mainland operations

On 20 May 2008, Bank of East Asia became the first foreign bank to issue yuan-denominated debit cards in mainland China, taking advantage of the recent removal of a key restriction on foreign banks' retail business in the country. The bank will issue the debit cards jointly with China UnionPay, the country's only bankcard network operator. The company claimed that the launch of debit cards would help attract retail banking customers by giving them greater convenience in accessing their deposits. In addition, it is the only foreign bank in mainland China to offer direct Alipay payment support and the only foreign bank in mainland...
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