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Smooth Takeover of Bank of China amid Employee Celebration of Liberation (1949)


 

After the conclusion of the Second Plenary of the Seventh CPC Central Committee in March 1949, Nan Hanchen, the first president of People's Bank of China arrived in Tianjin and conveyed the central government's policy of Bank of China takeover: Bank of China was a special one among the four banks, two post offices and one treasury given the features of commercial shares, overseas branches and long history. After the national liberation, Bank of China would be built into a specialized foreign exchange bank targeting overseas markets. Therefore, the original name and structure of the bank ought to be maintained with basically all employees to be retained.

Many of Bank of China's employees had joined Communist Party of China before liberation, some of which were underground members working with Bank of China head office or branches in Shanghai, Nanjing, Tianjin, Hankou and Chongqing, contributing a lot to the fight for liberation under the CPC instruction.


The general order on takeover of Bank of China issued by Shanghai Military Control Commission

Branches of Bank of China took actions and organized employees in performing their duties and protecting bank properties to be ready for the liberation. CPC underground members and activists of Bank of China established Bank of China Staff Mutual Aid Society for Emergency Response in the middle of February 1949. On early morning of May 25, 1949 when the regions south to Suzhou River of Shanghai was liberated, a Kuomintang residual force was still firing on the north bank of Suzhou River within the range of the Bank of China Building on the Bund. Early that morning, the CPC members and activists of Bank of China Shanghai Branch ventured into the bank and hung two slogans of 30 meters long over the Bank of China Building. These slogans, saying "Celebrate Liberation of Shanghai" and "Welcome Chinese People's Liberation Army", were the earliest ones hung in the Bund after Shanghai's liberation.

Following Shanghai's liberation on May 27, 1949, Shanghai Military Control Committee dispatched delegates to take over Bank of China head office on 28th.

Deng Xiaoping, the first secretary of East China Bureau of CPC Central Committee, presided over a meeting on June 4 in Shanghai to convey the guidelines of the takeover: to take over Bank of China intact, transform it step by step and resume its business as soon as possible. He also announced an appointment of Gong Yinbing as the general manager of Bank of China.


Bank of China resumed business in June 1949

Bank of China's branches in Hankou, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Guilin, Guangzhou and other cities also launched a series of campaigns to protect the bank, such as organizing employees to protect treasury, account books, documents and public properties, so that most of the organizations were taken over by the People's Liberation Army smoothly.

As the diplomatic work of new China was started in January 1950, Bank of China's overseas branches, under the leadership of the head office, was in urgent need of a new regulation and articles of association as well as a new board of directors so that they could renew their overseas registration. Since this was an important issue concerning treatment to commercial shares and long existence of Bank of China overseas branches, Premier Zhou Enlai and Vice Premier Chen Yun of the Government Administrative Department looked into it in person. Chen Yun listened to the report in person and carefully looked up the old regulations and articles of association of Bank of China, and Zhou Enlai approved the name list of directors and supervisors of state-owned shares for Bank of China's new Board of Directors. He also instructed that all the existing directors and supervisors of commercial shares for Bank of China were admitted except for war criminals.

The Xinhua News Agency published Orders of Government Administrative Department of Central People's Government which was signed by Premier Zhou Enlai on March 22, 1950, "After investigation, we found Bank of China is a state-private joint bank with one third commercial shares and two thirds government shares. Now that the whole country has been liberated and the Central People's Government of People's Republic of China established, the state-owned shares should be owned by the Central People's Government. To ensure the leadership and supervision of people's government over the bank, it is decided to appoint 13 directors representing the state-owned shares, who are Nan Hanhuan, Cao Juru, Ma Yinchu, Hu Jingyun, Sha Qianli, Zhang Hanfu, Zhang Naiqi, Wang Shao'ao, Gong Yinbing, Ji Chaoding, Zhan Wu, Sun Xiaocun and Zheng Tieru; to appoint He Xiangning, Tan Kah Kee, Seto Mee Tong, Xu Dixin and Li Shizhang as the supervisors of the state-owned shares. Except for war criminals, all the original directors and supervisors representing the commercial shares will be retained. The bank should immediately convene a board of directors meeting to advance business operation".

The first meeting of board of directors for Bank of China was held on April 9, 1950 when the new leading group of the Bank was formed. From then on, the history of Bank of China was turned to a new page.

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