Bank history there are two different opinions from historians and scholars about the origin of the term “bank”. According to the first opinion, the origin is Italian and is a derivative of the word “banco” which means counters – trading tables, first used by currency exchangers in the markets of Lombardy, in northern Italy. According to the second opinion, the term is derived from Italian, but refers to the so-called “banchi” (type of debt bonds) issued in Venice, Italy during 1157.
In fact, the first opinion is more acceptable, because from the archeological excavations and history data, it is clear that the banking activity comes from antiquity and is related to the development of trade exchanges and the entry of currency as a means of payment. The variety of currencies brought about the necessity for them (currencies) to have an exchange value with each other. Initially the function of the bankers or as we might more accurately call them “the people who exchanged money” was to save money and lend it. Hammurabi of Babylon was the first to write written contracts for interest-bearing loans, and even a fixed interest rate (33%) was set out in his famous codes. These contracts did not have to exceed this interest rate and royal agents supervised to eliminate usury with high percentage. The supervisory authority of royal agents is at the heart of so-called ‘state control’ over this highly specific type of commercial activity.
A specific example of banking in antiquity is Ancient Rome, which is known to have been the first civilization to develop and codify its institutions. Initially, the national currency of Rome was missing, and coins from ancient Greece and the Phoenician colonies were used. At the time when all of Italy fell under Roman rule, some people began to act who were tasked with collecting taxes from farmers and artisans. These will be called tax collectors, who took advantage of the position of a weak state and became able to play in their favor with money within the state itself, resulting in a position and a special risk to the state. For this reason the Roman Senate forbade senators to engage in this kind of commercial activity, but, despite these precautions, they found other ways to maintain and strengthen ties with the people who collect taxes, and in each province created so-called “chambers.” which functioned as banks. This class, also known as the “Jewelers”, can be called the first bankers of that civilization, who by overseeing the so-called “rooms” traded simultaneously with the people who collected the money and with the state. Stalls (counters) began to rise in increasing numbers in the cities. The moneylenders who dealt with the money became specialists in collecting and storing it, which they lent for a rent, although it must be admitted that the loan contracts, at the beginning of their use, were interest-free (mutuum contracts), then replaced by interest-bearing loan (foenus) which was set at 6% per month. In the century. IV BC, the first provincial banks were formed, as public banks, where taxes were collected which were poured into a certain cash register in Rome. It was at this time that account books and cash registers began to be used, for which there was a written law. This can be called the first law of a genuine banking nature.
Ancient Greece is known according to some scholars, the place where money was identified with the metal (700 BC). The state of Amina, which was distinguished as one of the most powerful states of that time, needed a coin to be recognized and used not only in the territories where its power extended, but also outside them. At this time in the temples of Athens, first in the famous Acropolis, coins and precious stones began to be collected and exchanged. meanwhile another category of merchants began to deal with money and even went out in opposition to the temples. These were the so-called “money lenders” who, since they carried out their activity at the tables, began to be called by the people “trapezitas”, according to the Greek word “trapeza” (table). A characteristic of lending in Athens is the fact that it was accompanied by a mortgage guarantee. Gold as money is thought to have been born five thousand years ago.
Ancient Egypt – known as one of the oldest and most developed civilizations of antiquity, Egypt has its share in the development of commercial activity of exchange, collection or lending of money. With the fall under Greek rule, the Egyptians began to set up their own businesses and in this context began to set up “money exchange tables” which saw a much greater spread and development than in the country from which they were taken as an example. , extending even to not-so-heard villages and provinces.
In the Middle Ages coin exchangers held counters at fairs and markets, fixing the weight, title and minting of coins which were varied, especially given the fact that every principality, every city-state, even every feudal lord had his own currency. But the lending activity was disliked by the Christian Church, which banned interest-bearing lending, which hindered trade, so exceptions began to be formulated with reference to Roman law. The church was strictly against the interest, it strictly opposed not only the use of interest on the loan, but also simply opposed the existence of this interest on the loan. The church, on the other hand, believed that the money borrowed was not used to invest for the good, but only to meet immediate needs and was accompanied by a large and ongoing obligation to return the money, which at the end of the latter according to her, were not good money. Meanwhile, the Jews, who were not affiliated with the church, began to implement and further develop the commercial banking activity by causing the phenomenon of lending to spread widely and loan transactions to capture large quantities. This gave the Jews a favorable position in the market as opposed to the tax collectors, who acted in collecting money on behalf of feudal lords, princes and ecclesiastical authorities. The latter for the first time implemented the creation of a special staff that would deal with the transfer of funds raised to the lands they had under administration. In the Late Middle Ages, commercial activity greatly expanded, which led to a steady increase in the need for money. This moment led to the creation of many banking enterprises, for example, such famous banks were created as: “II Monte dei Prestiti di Venezia”, one of the oldest banks in the world established in 1171, or “Il Banco di San Giorgio di Genova “created in 1150 etc. The delivery of banking activity was mainly done by Jews, Lombards, Sienese and Florentines, whose bankers financed large-scale trade and had bank accounts in foreign countries as well. The banking technique used by them was much more advanced than that of antiquity, combined operations began, payment cards were used for the first time, as an embryo of commercial paper that gives an international character to banking and commercial law. In 1313, in the Statute of Pisa and in 1415 in Florence, we are dealing with a legal regulation of the loan with a guarantee, but for the morality of the time the usury was not viewed favorably. Powerful in their banking activity were also the temples and the Templar’s (as they called themselves the “poor knights of Christ”) who were bankers of the crusades of the Pope and the monarchs, taking over the function of guardians of the royal treasury. Accounting was used for the first time and this is where the term “Grand Book” begins. The Templars were outspoken opponents of the Jews and Lombard traders because of fierce competition in the European markets of the time.
At the end of this period, the largest banks were born and consolidated, which gave a big boost to trade and strengthened the positions of the countries where they operated. Thus in 1584 the Doge of Venice founded the bank of this city which was called “Banca del Piazza del Rialtó” and after that in 1593 the nobility of the city of Milan founded the “Banco di Ambrogio”.
During the European Renaissance, banks spread throughout Europe and contributed greatly to economic development. The extent of the banks was also greatly influenced by major geographical discoveries. But the banks did not remain what they were in the Middle Ages. The more they spread geographically, the more progressively the banking functions changed.
To be mentioned is the Bank of Amsterdam (1609) – the bank which first invented and used “stock” as a special type of security, but which is easily liquidated, transferable, tradable and quoted on the stock exchange. This bank had a specific position because it was under the guarantee of the municipality of the city of Amsterdam, whose name was inherited by the bank itself. The Bank of Amsterdam is known as the first large bank and is known as the bank that marked the “era” of modern banking, the era of large banking institutes. In 1619 the Bank of Hamburg was established which, unlike other banks, issued a type of security which was used both within the borders of Hamburg, but also spread throughout Europe for use by anyone.
England is the place where it can be said that the first bank was created which had full features and further the steps taken by the Bank of Amsterdam in the modernization of the banking activity. This was the Bank of England, founded in 1696. Until then, banking was practiced by Jews, followed by a number of well-known banker families from Florence. The population was beginning to doubt whether the money given to the depositors would be returned to them or not, so they demanded some kind of guarantee for this. It was the family of the famous English bankers Goldsmith, the first to start issuing several receipts against the amounts received on deposit. These receipts were tradable and had some value, but over time it was noticed that often debtors were not able to cover the obligations arising from these receipts and inevitably went into liquidation causing great harm to creditors. It was at this difficult time for English finance that the Bank of England was established, which had a founding capital of million 1.2 million, which was at the disposal of the Treasury of England and which was a further assurance to depositors about the power liquidation of the bank.
In France in 1718 the first state bank “Le Banque Royal” was established by royal decree, which soon failed and for a long time France could not establish another bank, until in 1800 Napoleon Bonoparti founded the “Banque de France”. .
Meanwhile America was developing day by day and a new branch of business was also the banking activity that was crowned with the opening of the first bank in 1791 as a state bank and then a second bank, with partly state capital, but both were forced to go bankrupt.
In 1847, the first bank in the Ottoman Empire, the “Bank of Constantinople”, also known as the “Bank of Istanbul”, was established, which greatly influenced its relations with Europe.
At the end of the century. XIX and beginning of the century. XX, from credit intermediaries, large banks became “coin makers”. This transformation made it possible for banking in modern times to take over the position and role of the determining factor of economic development. It was the large capital offer made by banks that was the element that made industrial and commercial enterprises flourish.
The birth of large and powerful banks led the banking system to formulate its special features such as:
-is a supporting element of the economic structure;
-correct functioning conditions the growth of the banking system itself.
Having such an important role and position, public control over banking activity and banking rules became inevitable. Initially public control over the banks was not the authority of the government, but of the local government. Then, especially the new laws at the beginning of the century. XX, clearly defined the position of banks and their relationship with the authority of state power. To be distinguished is the creation and very special position of the Federal Reserve in the US (founded in 1913) which had the primary function of “feeding the economy with currency and credit”. The Federal Reserve functions as a union of 12 Federal Reserve districts (New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc.) that together with the Federal Reserve Bank of Washington form the US Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is accountable only to Congress and has relatively great independence in implementing monetary policy.