The source of the first paper money to be circulated in Russia, the Assignation Bank was founded in 1769 on orders of Catherine the Great.
In 1782, Catherine issued a decree for the construction of a building to house the bank to be designed by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi, one of his first major commissions in St. Petersburg. Now, the building is the central campus of Finec, the prestigious St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance.
Quarenghi provided an exemplary neoclassical design, with a central three-storey corpus housing the bank itself, and a horseshoe-shaped structure, linked to the main corpus by galleries, to house the bank's storerooms and mint. The back of the building faced the Catherine Canal (now Griboedov Canal), making it easier to bring metal coins to the bank by barge. In 1817, the ornate wall fence with cast-iron railings and gates facing the canal was added by Luigi Rusca, followed a decade later by Wilhelm von Traiteur's famous Bank Bridge in front of the gates.
Due to its devaluation, the Assignation Ruble was withdrawn from circulation in 1843, and the bank's duties were assumed by the State Russian Bank. In the 1930s, the Leningrad Financial-Economic Institute took over the buildings. In 1967, a monument was erected to Quarenghi in the square in front of the building from the Sadovaya Ulitsa side.