Chinese Commercial Bank
In September 1912, Lim Boon Keng, Lim Peng Siang, Lee Choon Guan and others, established the Chinese Commercial Bank Ltd, with a paid-up capital of $1 million. Lim was Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the First World War two years later led to financial panic in Singapore and Malaya. The resulting bank run forced the bank to cease operations temporarily.
The Bank's three key directors – Lim Boon Keng, Lim Peng Siang and Lee Choon Guan – called on Governor Sir Arthur Young for help. After investigating the bank, the Governor confirmed it to be sound and with his support, the bank resumed operations after two months, with its credibility restored. However, the crisis caused the Board of Directors to adopt a 'safety first' strategy. It thus became very conservative in financing the expansion of business.
Ho Hong Bank
In 1932, the three banks – Chinese Commercial Bank, Ho Hong Bank, and Oversea-Chinese Bank – merged to become the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd.