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Rishengchang Exchange Bank

rishengchang-bank01 Located at No. 105 in Nan Dajie, it was established in 1823 in the reign of the sixth Qing Emperor and was the first draft bank in China. It was China's forerunner for an organized finance system, handling remittance, money exchange, deposit, loan and other business.

rishengchang-bankLi Daquan was a man who, in the late 18th century, opened a small dye shop. He prospered as his business grew and soon opened many more shops in many more places. He expanded his market far away into other provinces. In order to insure the proper collection of profits from all of the branches, he introduced a system of checks and deposits. The Pingyao office soon became the company's financial agent and would subsequently do the same for other businesses, individuals, and, eventually, even the Qing government.

For more than 100 years, the bank prospered and at its height, it had 57 branches around China. The Japanese invasion and civil strife during the early 20th century, along with the ever-increasing competition from foreign banks, eventually caused the banks decline and closure. When traveling through Pingyao, a trip to the Rishengcheng Financial House Museum is not to be missed.