It looks like the Bund is having a hard time reviving its status as Asia's premier financial street. Response from big names in world banking and finance to more than a year of promotion - aimed at them setting up offices in the historic buildings lining the famous Shanghai waterfront - has been lukewarm. Domestic financial organisations have been quick to offer support to the official bid to rejuvenate the Bund, despite the fact Shanghai has attracted more foreign bank branches than any other mainland city. So far, seven financial institutions have moved into those visually aesthetic buildings. They are China Everbright Bank, China Merchant Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Shanghai AJ Finance, Singapore GT Investment, Bangkok Bank and Hong Kong Parkview Group. Shanghai Bund Buildings Function Transformation Co, the company charged with finding buyers and tenants for the buildings, is confident the colonial buildings along and around the 1.5 km spruced-up promenade will be taken up by the end of the year. Even if that is so, it is unlikely the tenants will be of the mix that gave the Bund its international flavour and reputation in the old days. Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp has opted out of negotiations to take over its previous headquarters, and Bank Indosuez has given up on its former office. While the buildings are a sight to behold, they are of little practical use to banks relying on modern electronic technology to stay on top of competition. Inadequate facilities aside, the lack of parking space near the promenade is another impediment to widespread interest in the buildings. The biggest hindrance comes from Lujiazui Finance and Free Trade Zone in Pudong, which is touting itself as China's up-and-coming financial hub. Lujiazui and the Bund - divided by the Huangpu River - make up Shanghai's commercial business district, but it is the former that is getting the official attention and support. The municipal government is ordering major government bodies and exchanges to move to Lujiazui, starting next year. The Shanghai Stock Exchange will lead the big shift across the river in May, followed by the commodity, grains, and metal exchanges. Foreign financial institutions, deterred by the inadequate transport links between Pudong and Puxi, have been slow to move. But those eyeing licences for yuan business have been told by the Shanghai branch of the People's Bank of China that they stand a chance only if they shift to Pudong. Although only a few will be chosen to do the coveted business, many dare not risk being left out by ignoring the central bank. When Pudong is linked to the old city centre by a subway, making travelling convenient, it is likely to be transformed into a bustling economic hub. In all probability, the Bund will remain as Shanghai's most famous scenic sight. As a financial nerve centre, it will be outshone by Lujiazui.