The building was built according to the project of Giacomo Quarenghi specifically for the placement of the state Assignation Bank of the Russian Empire. The bank was established in 1769 by Catherine II to issue paper money (bank notes) instead of silver coins.
Coins were brought to the storerooms on barges along Catherine's canal from the Mint of the Peter and Paul Fortress.
The building, semi-circular in plan, occupied a large section between Sadovaya Street and the Catherine Canal. The central building was intended for direct operation of the bank. One-story galleries connected it with side hulls-storerooms to store money.
The artistic cast-iron fence on the side of Sadovaya Street, made according to the drawing of Quarenghi, was established in 1791. In 1817, from the side of the Catherine Canal, a cast-iron fence was built according to the project of Luigi Rusca. By the example of this fence in 1826, a lattice of handrails of the nearby Bank Bridge across the Catherine Canal was created.
In 1843, state loans were introduced and the bank was closed, and in 1849 the State Russian Bank began operating in this building. In the 1860s, worn out paper money was publicly burned in the iron pavilions in the courtyard of the bank from Sadovaya Street side. This attracted a lot of attention from the townspeople.
Since 1930, the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance is located here. The original interiors are now preserved in the lobby and on the main staircase. In 1967, in the courtyard of the building, on the side of Sadovaya Street, a bust of Giacomo Quarenghi was installed.