Rishengchang Draft Bank
This museum is all about banking and lies on the site of China’s first draft bank, the Rishengchang ( Risheng means ‘sunrise’ and chang means ‘prosperity’). It was one of the largest banks in the town and opened in 1823. At its peak, it controlled almost half of the Chinese economy and had branches throughout China’s largest towns and cities, including Beijing.
It was started by two brothers who owned the Xiyucheng Dye Shop in Pingyao and came up with the idea of issuing a draft/promissory note/ bill of exchange that was based on the actual physical existence of the currency in question and in the amount specified. This amount had been deposited with the Li Daquan brothers in Pingyao, expressly for the purpose of covering the amount of currency specified on the bank draft. The bank went out of business after 108 years.