Fullerton Heritage - Commercial Square

Raffles Place
South, Singapore
March 2013
(This article is part of Merlion Wayfarer's Fullerton Heritage Guided Tour series.)
The Union Bank of Calcutta was Singapore's very first bank in 1840, 11 years after opening its doors in Calcutta as the chief presidency bank. It was descended from the Bank of Bengal, set up in 1806 as the government bank.
On the reclaimed land Commercial Square (now Raffles Place) emerged; the Square was 200 yards by 50 yards with a garden in the centre. Agency Houses then set up their offices in Commercial Square; the offices were on the ground floor while the top floor was used as living quarters. Raffles allowed businessmen irrespective of race to establish their offices there. Four banks were established in Commercial Square; they were the Oriental Bank of London, the Chartered Mercantile Bank of India and China, the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China and the Asiatic Banking Corporation.