Chartered Bank / Standard Chartered Bank building [1959-1986]

Submitted by David on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 00:00
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
(Day & Month are approximate.)
Date closed / demolished
(Day & Month are approximate.)

The bank was named The Chartered Bank, until the friendly merger with The Standard Bank 1969.

I don't have an exact date for it's completion, but an article from the China Mail (1957-05-16, pg1) reports that the Governor, Sir Alexander Grantham, laid the foundation stone for the new bank building on that day. It was estimated that the building would be completed in 1959, and would then be the tallest building in the Colony at 244 feet from pavement to roof.

The article reports the speech by Mr Small, the Bank Manager, which includes some useful history of the bank's previous locations:

"The Bank opened its first office in the Far East in Shanghai in 1858, and in the following year a branch was opened in the area of what is now Chinese Street, near the Central Market and abutting on Des Voeux Road. This first office of ours in Hong Kong was on the city's original waterfront, for it was not until 1904 that the reclamation in the area was completed, transforming Des Voeux Road into an inland street.

By 1878 we had moved to premises at what is now No. 4 Queen's Road, and in 1890, when the lease expired, our nomadic progress continued with a further move to accommodation in Connaught House, on the site of what is now Edinburgh House.

Our present building in Queen's Road was completed in 1894, the site having previously been owned and occupied by the old Chartered Mercantile Bank of India , London and China, the forerunner of the present Mercantile Bank of India."

Architects: Palmer & Turner

More info:

Photos that show this Place


Here is a good shot of the old building's front steps in "The World of Suzie Wong"

The Chartered Bank - from "The World of Suzie Wong"
The Chartered Bank - from "The World of Suzie Wong", by philk

Demolition date was 1986 or 1987. Multiple sources confirm development of the new building was underway in 1987, and an Urban Council document "Improvements to Statue Square" (1986-04-04), page 16, states "Standard Chartered Bank redevelopment: Imminent".

A photo available through MMIS entitled "The Standard Chartered Bank Building" shows construction already around the eighth storey by 1988, and another image shows topping out of the new building in 1989.

Anyone remember the canteen type restaurant in the basement - entered by a stone staircase at the back ?  Plastic table covers, ice cold San Mig (or whatever)  and the best - and cheapest - curries in HK ? !

To my knowledge, the place was never advertised and I found it completely by accident during a working visit to the bank in the early 1970's.


I recall visiting a basement canteen as you describe in an immediately adjacent commercial building's basement or located just below street level. Nothing to do with the bank. I seem to remember daylight streaming in from windows above us, probably at pavement level. I believe it was run by a Malaysian Association or Malaya Club. The people who took us, one who may have been a lawyer, said it was a favourite lunchtime hang-out for members of the legal profession, amongst the many others working in Central. Certainly we had a good curry and beers for lunch.

I think the canteen described  was in the Hang Chong Building next to the Standard Chartered. I also recall it was run by the Malaysian (Singapore) Association. Besides curries and cold beers, the Association also ran tombola (bingo) games on some nights of the week.

Many thanks, IDJ and M. You are quite right. Mention of the Malaysian Association triggers  memory of a small plaque on the wall alongside the steps leading down.