Imperial Bank of China

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Imperial Bank of China, 1898 Peking branch Taels issue banknote from the Pogrebetsky collection.[1]

The Imperial Bank of China (Traditional Chinese: 中國通商銀行, Simplified Chinese: 中国通商银行) was the first Chinese-owned bank modelled on Western banks and banking practices. It was founded in Shanghai by Mr. Sheng Xuanhuai in 1897 successfully operating until 1913 when it was renamed to the Commercial Bank of China. The "rebranding" was for political reasons following the overthrow of the last emperor Pu Yi by the Nationalists in 1911.[2][3]

The manager, Andrew Wright Maitland (1850-1906), was hired out of retirement from The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Ambitions for this bank were high, and it was proposed that it take over banknote issues throughout China. Maitland's signature - A.W. Maitland - appears on the banknotes.[4] Although offices were opened in Canton (Guangzhou) and Beijing (then Peking) the Imperial Bank of China never received the full support of central government and it became marginalised.

The bank was closed down in 1952 after being taken over by the Central Government of the People's Republic of China.

See also[edit]