At 17 storeys, it was designed by Palmer & Turner to surpass the nearby 3rd generation Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank Building and become the tallest building in Hong Kong at the time of its completion. The modern 47-storey HSBC Headquarters building now stands beside it.
The building used to be the headquarters of Bank of China in Hong Kong until it transferred to the glass and steel wonder that is the Bank of China Tower located in Garden Road in 1991.
During its heyday, the period when the Communist Party came to power in China, the Old Bank of China Building, was used as a way to encourage Hong Kong citizens to disregard their colonial rulers and pledge allegiance to China. Loud speakers were placed on the exterior of the building to broadcast "patriotic" messages to locals.
Despite the more modern and towering skyscrapers surrounding it, the Old Bank of China Building remains a majestic landmark in Central. In 1998, the building's interiors underwent massive renovation to make it suitable for the modern times.
It currently houses the bank’s Central branch, the Sin Hua Bank, and on the top three floors (13th to 15th), the posh China Club.