CEO of Bank of China UK honoured by City of London Corporation

The head of the Bank of China’s UK operations, Sun Yu, has today received the Freedom of the City of London, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to promoting UK-China relations.

Mr Sun took up his position at the helm of the 89-year-old London branch of the Bank of China in December 2014. In addition to this role, he is also Chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce in the UK, and was previously also Chairman of the Association of Foreign Banks.

Mr Sun was nominated for the Freedom of the City of London by the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of London, Charles Bowman. His Freedom ceremony at Guildhall began with him reading aloud the Declaration of a Freeman and ended with him being greeted by Murray Craig, Clerk to the Chamberlain's Court, as a ‘Citizen of London’ and the presentation of his framed parchment certificate.

The CEO is the latest Chinese national, and the first head of a Chinese company in the UK, to receive the Freedom.

Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor of London said:

 “The Freedom of the City of London is a very special and ancient tradition, bestowed to recognise an individual’s remarkable contribution to London or public life, or an outstanding achievement.

“My colleagues and I are delighted to admit Sun Yu into the Freedom of the City of London.

“As head of one of the oldest and most respected foreign banks in the Square Mile, Sun Yu has done a tremendous amount to help promote closer UK-China relations in this Golden Era of ties.

“It is a huge pleasure and a personal privilege to welcome him to Guildhall to receive the Freedom.”

Sun Yu, General Manager of Bank of China Limited London Branch and CEO of Bank of China (UK) Limited said:

It is a true honour and great pleasure to join the fellowship of men and women who have been recognised by the City of London and the Lord Mayor.

“I take it as a recognition of Bank of China’s long-term commitment in serving the local community and promoting China-UK relations.

“It is my privilege to work in London and to witness the China-UK Golden Era. The Bank of China will continue to spare no effort to further strengthen the ties between our two countries.”

The Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade. Today, people are nominated for, or apply for, the Freedom, because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.

The Freedom is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate a significant achievement, or to pay tribute to their outstanding contribution to London life or public life. High-profile recipients include Dame Judi Dench, Sir Peter Hall, J.K. Rowling, Dame Eileen Atkins, Plácido Domingo, Lord Norman Foster, Sir Michael Caine, and Damian Lewis.

Bank of China is China’s most internationalised and diversified bank, providing a comprehensive range of financial services to customers across the Chinese mainland and 56 countries and regions. Established in 1929, Bank of China’s London Branch was the first overseas Chinese financial institution in the Square Mile.


Notes to editors

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. 

For more information contact:

Nathan Rodgers
Media Officer for Asia
City of London Corporation
0207 332 3451 / 07864 625086