Bank of China
Bank of China is one of the big four state-owned commercial banks of the People's Republic of China – the other three are Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China. Bank of China was founded in 1912 to replace the Government Bank of Imperial China, and is the oldest bank in China. From its establishment until 1942, it issued banknotes on behalf of the Government of the Republic of China along with the "Big Four" banks of the period: the Central Bank of China, Farmers Bank of China and Bank of Communications. Although it initially functioned as the Chinese central bank, in 1928 the Central Bank of China replaced it in that role. Subsequently, BOC became a purely commercial bank.
Retiree sues bank in quest for special note
A 68-year-old retiree from Nanjing, Jiangsu province, is suing the People's Bank of China for what he claims is the central bank's unfairness in issuing relatively fewer commemorative Olympic Games banknotes on the mainland than in Hong Kong.
'I mailed the lawsuit document to the Beijing No1 Intermediate People's Court last Friday and it should reach the court in coming days,' said Huang Naihai.
Mr Huang said he wanted to take the central bank to court on the grounds that the 6 million 10-yuan banknotes it issued for the Beijing Games were not enough given the mainland's 1.3 billion population.
'This is absurdly unfair,' he said. 'Hong Kong has a population of 7 million, but 4 million banknotes were issued there.'
Mr Huang was among the many mainlanders who could not obtain the new commemorative notes because of their short supply.
It was not clear if the court will accept Mr Huang's suit. Under mainland laws, the court should reply within 15 days upon receipt of the documents.
Although he was eager to have his own copy of the commemorative banknotes, Mr Huang insisted that he was not just speaking out for himself.
'I'm filing the case not for myself, but on behalf of the many disadvantaged people in China,' he said.
If the court rejected his case, Mr Huang said he would write to Premier Wen Jiabao and keep doing that until the central bank agreed to issue more special banknotes.
It was widely rumoured last week that the People's Bank of China would issue more of the commemorative notes, but that was denied by the bank.