A. Schaaffhausen'scher Bankverein

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The A. Schaaffhausen'sche Bank Corporation was a bank based in Cologne and the first as a limited company or even as a legal entity organized private bank in Germany .


The predecessor of A. Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein is the trading house Abraham Schaaffhausen , founded in 1791 , which, in addition to trading, forwarding and real estate business, also operated banking. The owner was Abraham Schaaffhausen , who with his bank was one of the first and most important sources of finance for the growing Rhenish - Westphalian heavy industry . This private bank was one of the first financial institutions to finance the construction of the mining companies in the Ruhr area. From 1807, the real core of the company became the real estate business, which was later to trigger the bank association's crisis. When Abraham Schaaffhausen found out in 1815 that the Rhineland had been slammed into Prussia by the Congress of Vienna , he is said to have exclaimed in horror: “Jesse Maria, do hierode mer äver en ärm Familich!” (“Oh yeah, we're marrying a poor family”) ). By 1837 at the latest, the bank had been one of the industry's most important financiers. At that time it financed around 170 factories, including companies such as Krupp , Hoesch , the Gutehoffnungshütte and the Eschweiler Mining Association . As part of the Cologne banking system, alongside Sal. Oppenheim and Herstatt, the bank played a key role in the establishment of the Rheinische Eisenbahngesellschaft AG on June 9, 1837 as a result of the merger . The investment financing at Eberhard Hoesch & Söhne for the construction of the rail rolling mill in Düren-Lendersdorf in 1836 probably came from the Schaaffhausen bank. On July 16, 1839, Schaaffhausen was again one of the founding banks of the Cologne Fire Insurance Company (later COLONIA Versicherung ). She was also involved in infrastructure projects, for example in the financing of the Cologne-Mindener Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft in 1843.

The namesake Abraham Schaaffhausen did not experience the rapid development of his bank. His son-in-law Joseph Ludwig Mertens initially took over the management in 1816 and took over the majority stake four years later. He was followed by Wilhelm Ludwig Deichmann , who began as an apprentice in 1818 and managed the bank through the great crisis from 1848 to 1857. Like his predecessor Mertens, Deichmann was married to a daughter of Schaaffhausen. Mertens' wife was Sibylle Schaaffhausen and Deichmann's wife was Elisabeth Schaaffhausen .

Crisis and transformation

In the course of the political and economic crisis of 1848, the bank was confronted in March 1848 with a severe liquidity bottleneck, in particular as a result of excessive property speculation. This put the deposits of many customers at risk when the bank stopped making payments on March 29, 1848. The Schaaffhausen bank was also the house bank of the Cologne industrialist Johann Jakob Langen . As one of the largest creditors, his credit there in March 1845 was 145,000 thalers. At least 170 other larger entrepreneurs in the Rhineland had at that time deposited most of their money with Schaaffhausen - a catastrophe for the regional economy. The Langen family chronicle tells us that on March 25, 1848, the bank had the order to pass on the sum of 20,000 thalers as a customs payment from the company "Langen & Söhne" for imported cane sugar. At the very last moment, Langen is said to have succeeded in making a change at the Kgl. Bank branch to get discounted. Since the bank was also an important lender to the Rhenish industry, Cologne bankers and merchants decided to undertake a rescue operation, which was supported by the Prussian government. At the end of April 1848 the Prussian government was prepared, under certain conditions, to save the private bank by turning it into a stock corporation. With the help of state guarantees, which were granted on the advice of the Prussian finance minister and later founder of the Disconto-Gesellschaft , David Hansemann , the bank was saved by other bankers under the leadership of Gustav Mevissen . For this purpose, the Prussian government approved a bank in the form of a stock corporation for the first time: the corporation A. Schaaffhausen'schen Bankverein zu Köln . In April 1848, Mevissen formed a "crisis management team" with Hansemann and Abraham Oppenheim . The Prussian state took over the guarantee for part of the new 8 million Taler Schaaffhausen shares. When the AG was finally founded on August 28, 1848, Langen immediately took over the mandate as a member of the board of directors and was chairman between 1852 and 1857. After the conversion, the real estate from Abraham Schaaffhausen's estate was brought into the bank as assets, whereby the bank association also became the owner of the Morsbroich Lustschlösschen . This measure contributed to increasing their equity.

Overcoming the crisis

A. Schaaffhausen'scher Bankverein - Unter Sachsenhausen

The rescue of the bank was successfully completed. Between 1848 and 1859, an average of 6.25% dividends were paid out of profits annually. As early as 1852, the bank was able to completely reduce state aid, so that state control over the bank association ended that same year after the guarantees had expired.

From 1852 in particular, Schaaffhausen helped found numerous companies or converted them into stock corporations. On September 16, 1852, the Bankverein supported the founding of Phoenix AG for mining and smelting (Schaaffhausen retained 70% of the shares), the Bank for Trade and Industry (conversion into AG; 1853), the Kölnische cotton spinning and weaving AG (January 30 1853; first Cologne industrial company), 1854 with the transformation of Mayer & Kühne into an AG (since then Bochumer Verein für Bergbau und Gußstahlfabrikation AG ), with the establishment of the Kölnische Maschinenbau-Anstalt (1855), the Kölnische Lebensversicherung Concordia (1858) or the Cölnish transport insurance company Agrippina (1858).

From 1859 to 1862, the architect Hermann Otto Pflaume built the A. Schaaffhausen'sches Bankpalais, a prestigious column-supported bank building for the bank on what is now the banking mile “ Unter Sachsenhausen ” 4, on which he erected other magnificent buildings. When it opened on August 22, 1863, the public could marvel at the palatial features with Italian renaissance as well as the interior staircase made of black marble and the ballroom with stucco work, the huge mirror, gilded furniture, wallpaper and curtains made of yellow silk. On November 8, 1871, the Dutch King Wilhelm III. a consortium to which the Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein also belonged, the concession to found the Amsterdamer Bank . In 1891 the A. Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein issued new shares to increase its capital at the time from 36 to 48 million marks, thus taking into account the rapid growth of the bank. Under the leadership of the bank association, the Rheinisch-Westfälische Boden-Credit-Bank was founded in 1894 by banks and industrialists. The bank association finally also supported the establishment of the Dülkener cotton spinning company (June 1897). At the general assembly of the German-Atlantic Telegraph Company on January 30, 1900, the bank association was appointed as the consortium leader for the financing of the overseas cable laying in the west (South America).

Up to the turn of the century, A. Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein was organized centrally, except in Cologne and Berlin there were no branches. The competition from other regional banks in the Rhenish-Westphalian industrial area, especially the Essener Credit-Anstalt and the Bergisch-Märkische Bank , caused Schaaffhausen to also set up a branch network. A first branch was established in Essen in 1901, and a second branch followed in 1902 in Düsseldorf. In 1904 the Bankverein took over the Westdeutsche Bank, vorm. Jonas Cahn in Bonn and thus also their offices in Bonn, Duisburg, Krefeld, Neuss, Rheydt, Ruhrort and Viersen, which were continued as branches. The Cologne banker Louis Hagen (owner of the Cologne bank A. Levy & Co. ) initiated an interest group of the bank association with the Dresdner Bank in 1904 , in 1909 with the Disconto-Gesellschaft. In 1910 a branch opened in Berlin, which was followed by a branch in Neuwied in 1911 . In 1912, Schaaffhausen had a total of eleven branches, all of which except Berlin were located in the Rhine Province.

In 1906 the German-South American Bank , Berlin (later: Dresdner Bank Latin America AG, Hamburg) and the Deutsche Orientbank , under the leadership of Dresdner Bank, together with A. Schaaffhausen'schen Bankverein and the National Bank for Germany, are founded. In 1913 the Schaaffhausen'sche Bankverein was the largest German regional bank and had numerous industrial holdings.

In 1914 the bank association was taken over by the Disconto-Gesellschaft, but remained an independent credit institute until 1929. From 1919 Robert Pferdmenges became CEO. It was not until the Disconto-Gesellschaft merged with Deutsche Bank in 1929 that the Bankverein was merged with the Disconto-Gesellschaft and thus became part of the Deutsche Bank Group .


Well-known bankers of the private bank (until 1848) and the stock corporation (from 1848) were:

Individual evidence

  1. Carsten Burhop: The credit banks in the early days (= series of publications by the Institute for Bank History Research, Vol. 21). Steiner, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-515-08413-4 , p. 80, (at the same time: Bonn, Universität, Dissertation, 2002; can be found virtually in Google book search ).
  2. ^ Historical Society of Deutsche Bank AG ( Memento of October 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Stadtchronik Bonn , p. 5 ( Memento from December 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 1.2 MB)
  4. ^ Alfred Krüger: The Cologne banking trade. From the end of the 18th century to 1875 (= publications of the archive for Rheinisch-Westfälische Wirtschaftsgeschichte (Rheinisch-Westfälisches Wirtschaftsarchiv in Cologne). 10, ZDB -ID 517214-7 ). Baedeker, Essen 1925, pp. 39, 54, 65 f.
  5. Peter Fuchs (ed.): Chronicle of the history of the city of Cologne. Volume 2: From 1400 to the present. Greven, Cologne 1991, ISBN 3-7743-0261-8 , p. 136.
  6. ^ Heinrich von Poschinger : Banking and banking policy in Prussia. Volume 2: The years 1846 to 1857. Springer, Berlin 1879, p. 243 .
  7. Prussia took over a dividend guarantee for half of the share capital for ten years. For this, the state was given a right of co-determination in the management of the bank.
  8. Hans Pohl : On the prehistory of the first German overseas cable to South America. In: Yearbook for the History of the State, Economy and Society of Latin America. Vol. 11, 1974, ISSN  0075-2673 , pp. 238-308, doi : 10.7788 / jbla-1974-0111 .


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