Growth during the American period was rapid, but during World War II, the Japanese seized control of the bank. Its assets were converted into worthless currencies and as such, the bank was forced to deposit its remaining funds overseas so that it could reopen after the war. It did so after the liberation of Manila in 1945.
Under Sycip's leadership after the war, Chinabank was involved in many socio-civic projects, like the construction of artesian wells for the use of Filipinos. It also extended loans, credit and other financial assistance to entrepreneurs and contributed greatly to the reconstruction of the Philippine economy. Its humble contributions to the reconstruction effort are even remembered today.
Chinabank went public in 1965 and also has its own share of firsts. It was the first Philippine bank to electronically process online deposit transactions in 1969 and was also the first bank to offer telephone banking in 1988. It was one of the founding members of the BancNet interbank network when it was founded in 1990.
In 1990, Chinabank moved its headquarters from Binondo to its present-day headquarters on Paseo de Roxas in Makati City to better establish itself as one of the major players in the Philippine banking industry. Its present headquarters is in proximity to the headquarters of other major banks, such as Citibank, Equitable PCI Bank, United Coconut Planters Bank and Philippine Savings Bank. It also became a universal bank on August 26, 1991.