Rishengchang Draft Bank

Timeless Travels Magazine - - CHINA -

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.

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