Silesian Bank Corporation

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The Silesian Bank Corporation is a former regional bank based in Wroclaw . The credit institute was founded in 1856 and taken over by Deutsche Bank in 1917 .


On July 17, 1856, the Silesian Bank Corporation was founded as a partnership limited by shares . Its personally liable partners were the bankers Heinrich Fromberg from Breslau, Count Adrian Joseph von Hoverden from Breslau and Wilhelm Lehfeld from Glogau . Lehfeld was the owner of the Glogau bank L. Bambergs Wwe. & Söhne , which was taken over in 1865 as the first branch of the Silesian Bank Association.

In the 1850s and 1860s, the economic situation in Silesia was so unsatisfactory that the bank was only able to pay a 6% dividend with difficulty . Due to a lack of industrial investment opportunities, the Schlesische Bankverein bought the Kuhnern estate including its sugar factory in 1868, which was only sold again in 1889 with a small book profit.

In 1870 the Bankverein participated in the founding of Deutsche Bank, from whose share capital of over 5 million thalers it took over 125,000 thalers. After the Franco-Prussian War , the French reparations payments triggered an economic boom, and there was a wave of industrial companies being founded. With the establishment of subsidiaries in Beuthen , Glatz , Görlitz , Leobschütz , Neisse and Reichenbach , the Schlesische Bankverein expanded its business area to the entire province of Silesia . In the wake of the share boom, the Schlesische Bankverein was able to increase its share price to 189% by 1871 and in 1872, after a record profit of 6.2 million marks, pay a 14% dividend. In the following year, 1873, the stock market crash in Vienna led to the European start-up crisis and the bank's annual profit fell to 243,000 marks. In the course of this long-lasting economic crisis, the shares of the Silesian Bank Association fell and reached their lowest level of 79% in 1877. The economic situation only improved again in the 1880s and the Silesian Bank Association became a sought-after financing partner for start-ups in the Upper Silesian industrial district. In 1886 the branch in Liegnitz was opened.

In 1897 Deutsche Bank took over the majority of the share capital, making the Schlesische Bankverein practically a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. Between 1898 and 1899 the bank had a new administration building built in Breslau (Albrechtstraße 33/34).

In the beginning of the 20th century the bank expanded its business area with new branches in Gleiwitz (1900), Rybnik (1904) and Hirschberg (1905) and later in Jauer (1912), Schweidnitz (1912) and Guben (1913). The majority holdings of the company in Bankverein Kattowitz (since 1904) and in Oberschlesischer Kreditverein in Ratibor (since 1905) were converted into branches in 1916. At the beginning of 1917, the Silesian Bank Corporation had branches in 21 Silesian cities and five branches in Wroclaw. During the First World War the Deutsche Bank planned to take over the Schlesische Bankgesellschaft. Decisive for this were concerns about the competition, in particular the Dresdner Bank, which was increasingly establishing itself in Silesia, on the other hand tax considerations and thirdly the expectation that the German industry would have an expanded field of business in Eastern Europe after the war and one accordingly early on must position. The general meetings of Deutsche Bank and the Silesian Bank Association approved the merger of the two banks on March 7, 1917. The previous business owners of the bank association, Georg Cohn and Jean Bucher, became directors of the Wroclaw branch of Deutsche Bank. After the merger, the bank branches operated under the name "Schlesischer Bankverein Filiale der Deutsche Bank" until the Red Army conquered Silesia in 1945.

Literature and Sources

  • Manfred Pohl: Concentration in the German Banking System (1848–1980) . Fritz Knapp publishing house, Frankfurt am Main 1982.
  • A forgotten predecessor: 150 years of the Silesian Bank Corporation . In: Historical Society of Deutsche Bank e. V. (Hrsg.): Bank and history - historical review . No. September 11 , 2006 ( pdf ).