The oldest bank in China was founded in 1912, by the Government of the Republic of China and is now one of the big four state-owned commercial banks of the People's Republic of China. Up to date, they have multiple branches in major cities like Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Jakarta and are also equally successful in their European branches of London, Frankfurt and Milan.
Now it is almost impossible to dismiss the success of their expanding businesses and the effects of the impressionable, auspicious, red logo of the bank. The logo resembles a red ancient Chinese coin and is popularly believed to attract good fortune and to avert misfortune. This red logo can be clearly seen on every main building of the Bank of China.
The red colour corresponds with fire, which in China traditionally symbolizes good fortune and joy. Red can be easily found everywhere along the streets and cosy homes of the Chinese people, especially during Chinese New Year and family gatherings. For this instance, red is strictly forbidden at funerals. Even in the modern, capitalistic China, red remains to be a very popular color.
The symbol of the Chinese coin is a great symbol of prosperity. It represents money. This coin symbol is a powerful charm to attract abundance, wealth, money and prosperity. They are used widely by companies or banks to attract good flow of harmony, money and most essentially good fortune in business partnerships. Alternatively, the old Chinese coins can be worn as an amulet to protect the businessmen against illness and negativity. The tiny square hole in the centre represents heaven and earth. This signifies good fortune and luck from heaven.
The Chinese coins were issued by the local authorities and merchants in the late Qing (Ch'ing) Dynasty. They were small in value and many of the Chinese coins were needed for payments, so that the people improvised and tied one hundred of the cash coins together on a string. This creates a string of 100 cash coins. It was a standard unit of measure in the old China. These coins were widely used by local merchants, tax collectors and Chinese banks. The coins resemble the lucky charms and amulets by having special characteristics such as chop marks, charm features and auspicious sayings.
Apart from the red Chinese coin logo, the Bank of China also has one of the most recognisable and fourth tallest skyscraper in central Hong Kong. Notably designed by a prize-winning architect I. M. Pei. The futuristic design of this building is the most identifiable landmark in Hong Kong. The building looks like the growing bamboo shoots, which symbolise good livelihood and prosperity. The entire building is supported by five steel columns at each corners of the building. It is then mounted with triangular frameworks diverting the weight of the structure onto the five steel columns. It is finished with a fine and extravagant touch of expensive glass curtain walls on its sides. The bank is the only major building in Hong Kong that has bypassed the convention of consulting with the Feng Shui principles on the matters of design, before construction. The construction of the Bank of China has its fair share of controversies due to the sharp edges and it's negative symbolism by the numerous 'X' shapes. The design has been the centre of criticism from many Feng Shui masters. Furthermore, the building resembles a meat cleaver at some angles. It is also known as a cleaver building and it is almost obvious that it is facing the competitors from the HSBC's Hong Kong headquarters.
Other Feng Shui and auspicious symbols can be found everywhere in the Chinese Banks, in traditional crafts, modern Logos, normal household objects and even food. The five types of good fortune that the Chinese love are: Good Luck, Prosperity, Longevity, Happiness and Wealth. The emphasis is to be in balance with the shapes of yin yang symbols, the red-golden colours, the people , the gods of luck and prosperity, the phoenix and the dragon, the lotus and the peony, the fruits, the paintings and motifs. The secretive beauty of the symbols carries an aura of magic as if they contained some unsolvable mystery.
And this is the main historical reasons behind the red logo of the Bank of China.