Bank of China Ltd, the country's fourth-biggest lender, plans to set up a second headquarters in Shanghai, giving a boost to the city's global ambitions, local media reported on Thursday.

The Chinese government has said it wants to develop Shanghai, the country's financial hub, into an international financial centre by 2020 to compete with New York and London.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) was reviewing Bank of China's proposal for a second head office in Shanghai, the Shanghai Securities News reported, citing an unnamed CBRC source.

The planned Shanghai head office would manage Bank of China's operations in Shanghai, the newspaper said, adding that similar applications by other banks were in the pipeline.

All of China's "big-four" state-owned lenders are headquartered in Beijing. The lack of Shanghai-based financial institutions has been seen as a weakness in Shanghai's quest to become an influential financial centre.

State media also reported on Thursday that Shanghai expected to complete in the first half of the year preparatory work to build technical infrastructure for an international board on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Multinationals including HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Bank are hoping to raise their profiles in the mainland by listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.