Bank History and Banking Today

    "Bank" comes from the word for the bench in Italian - "banca".

    The tables used by money changers in cities. All small principalities and duchies had its own coins. To trade and transport goods, the merchants toggled different coins against each other.

    It is known that the documents are similar to today's check, the gear (bills of exchange) and the promissory note - reversed - (promissory notes) - were handled already by the Assyrians, Phoenicians and Egypt - long before the Greeks and Romans developed a more advanced banking system.

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    The first bankers were money changers whose services were needed in the markets or in the cities where the trade occurred between merchants from different parts of the old world.

    Gradually the company grew - probably because of the risk of being robbed - that traders put the money in a banker on the city. They were then able to get the same amount of another banker in the place they intended to purchase the goods. The traders got receipts and transfer orders to the banker in the other city. These credit receipts issued in the commercial man's name was used more and more in the long-distance trade and was a precursor to the modern gear.

    What Makes a Bank?

    • Switches currency
    • Facilitates the transfer of money (trade) between individuals, companies, and countries. The longer the distance between buyers and sellers, the greater the aid required by the banks. 
    • Keep money in a safe manner. Pay interest on deposits. 
    • Lend money to companies, individuals, and public institutions.
    • Dealing in securities, bonds, and commodities (gold, silver, etc.).

    The first Norwegian royal decree that dealt with banking came in 1824.

    The first real Norwegian Act on individual (private) banks came in 1846. The law was among other banks that issued its own notes. (It was only in 1897 that the Riksbank had a monopoly on the issuance of banknotes in Norway).

    The law required that the bank would have some foundation fund in the crowns of silver as collateral for its operations. The partners would be jointly and severally liable for the business. The Bank did not trade with other than silver and gold. It also stated more precisely the number of notes that the bank had to give out. 1855 was given the banks the right to engage in trade in generally fixed income securities as well as in and foreign bills.


    During the 2000s BC left many of their valuable assets to the temple that was often guarded and heavily built. The merchants used the bills and promissory notes issued on clay tablets to avoid taking with them large sums of caravans between cities.

    Ancient Greece

    In ancient Greece, there is evidence that both temples and private persons engaged in a kind of banking. They received the value of assets and issued loans. They also engaged in currency exchange and currency control.

    The traders built up a system of gears and notes so that they did not carry money on their trading journeys. The merchant in a city had an asset in the trading partner's city. This access could be transferred to another merchant that payment. Merchants with different interests could in this way cooperate and settle debts and claims against each other between different cities and countries. Bankers and Bankhus established that facilitated these transactions between merchants.

    The bank on the island of Delos received assets. Those values are deposited in the "bank" got credentials (an act which showed that they had assets in the bank). When merchants did business, they could pay by transferring portions of their assets at the Delo bank to another. Thus did the money never leave the bank.

    Roman Empire

    The Roman banks introduced interest on the loan operations and to those who deposited money to the bank. The Romans, however, was any money - coins. When the Roman Empire began to be invaded by Germanic tribes in the late 400's and later collapsed in the early 500s plummeted to their banking systems together. Around the same time, Christianity became the state religion. It forbade the charging of interest on the grounds that it was immoral. Banking in Western Europe will not start again until the time of the Crusades.

    Medieval Europe

    In Europe during the early 1000's began to traders to issue credentials (security paper) which were used in several markets. The drummer did not, therefore, carry the boxes of gold, copper or other means of payment, but was able to travel with these credentials between different markets. If a form of a bank was responsible for credentials so they could be redeemed for any of the bank's branches.

    During the 1100s began a form of credit given to the tradesmen. A merchant in Genoa borrowed a certain amount of money and made an agreement to repay the loan to the bank's agents in Constantinople sometime later. The traders could, therefore, buy goods, ship it to Constantinople and sell it where the profit to repay the money to the bank's agent there.

    These credit contracts grew increasingly during the 1100s.

    Moreover issued local feudal lords credentials that worked in their counties. During the 1100s and beyond, many feudal lords who had goods both in England and in France.  

    You could say that the credentials were a kind of forerunner of modern day currency.

    The Modern Banking lån System Started in the 1800s Norge

    Formation of private banks was made possible by the announcement January 14, 1824 where it was assigned to companies that have come to an end goal to lend money to apply for permission of royal majesty. - accompanied by corporate rules and lending or "lån" regulations then charter customers are granted up to 10 years.

    Under the circular, the idea was that it would only lend equity and so they borrowed. To find out more about the so-called ”lån” read more at norgelå

    When "Skåne private bank in Ystad" (later Skåne individual bank) in 1831 started its activity began to also issue banknotes. According to the encyclopedia (Nordic Family Encyclopedia 1928) would have been the basis for the formation of the bank. - ie the interest to issue banknotes.

    The issued notes in the form of 20 or less as Rdr interest-bearing deposit certificate. This is not penalized by the state.

    1874 introduced the gold standard in Norway as in other parts of the world. The rules for banks were tightened requiring some degree of security for the note issue would be kept in gold. The state began to levy the tax on the note issue. Banks protested but had to give up. Norge Bank took over the business and by 1903 there were only banknotes issued by the central bank in circulation. As compensation, the banks were entitled to a cheap credit from the Riksbank.

    There were eight Norwegian private banks in 1850. Norwegian shares banks began to form during the 1850s. They followed the 1848 Companies Act. It was only in 1886 that a special law on joint-stock banks was introduced. In 1909 there were 84 commercial banks in Norway, of which 66 were joint stock companies. 1911 introduced the law on banking. The law divides banks into limited liability companies and the jointly liable founder (Individual banks, public banks). 1933 there only 20 banking company left.

    Many had been merged or been acquired.

    In addition to commercial banks were also credit unions linked to agriculture and savings banks. Post Office Savings Bank started in 1884 and grew rapidly when it made care of the postal giro system which began operations 1925th.


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