Bank of China - Shanghai

Bank of China Building No 23 The Bund Shanghai

Bank of China Building No 23 The Bund Shanghai is a tower located at No. 23 on the Bund, in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. Previously the headquarters of the Bank of China, it now houses the Shanghai Branch of the Bank of China.

It was built on the site of the old German Club (c. 1907). It housed the headquarters of the Bank of China. The stunted appearance of the building is attributed to Victor Sassoon’s insistence that no other building on the Bund could rise higher than his.

No. 23, the Bund was previously the German Club. During World War I, the Chinese government declared war on Germany, and confiscated the German Club as enemy assets. At the end of World War I, the Bank of China purchased the property from the government for 630,000 silver yuan.

In 1928, the Bank of China moved its headquarters from Beijing to Shanghai. The Bank of China purchased land in Jinkee Road (now Dianchi Road) and Yuenmingyuen Road (now Yuanmingyuan Road) in 1930 to house its headquarters. From then on, the Shanghai branch would each year set aside RMB 500,000 from its surplus, as the construction fund for a new headquarters building. In April 1934, the board of directors decided to construct an 18-floor building, for the office administration and operation of the Head Office and the Shanghai Branch, on the former German Club site. The estimated basic construction cost was 6 million silver yuan.

A primary reason why the bank officials want to have the building in the Bund concession was according to Zhang Jia and Wang Ao, the then presidents of the Bank of China states because “Bank of China had endured hardship and thrived. Since its infrastructure had been reformed and it was strong enough to compete with those European and American banks on the Bund, it needed a new building, which could symbolize modernity, soundness and international credit.”