Bank Of East Asia building on 299 Szechuen Rd.

Designed by Austro-Hungarian architect C.H. Gonda and inaugurated in February 1926, it was lauded as Gonda’s “triumph in style of architecture new to Shanghai.” BEA was founded in Hong Kong in 1918 with the idea to blend East and West, essentially by embracing the style of a Chinese, family-run bank but also adopting modern accounting and banking methods. Already in 1920, BEA opened its first branches in Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City. Today it remains the largest independent local Hong Kong bank, and one of two remaining family-run Hong Kong banks.