Amsterdamer Wechselbank (Wisselbank) – die weltweit erste Zentralbank

Die Amsterdamer Wechselbank (ndl: Amsterdamsche Wisselbank) war die erste städtische Wechselbank in Westeuropa.

Es war ihre Aufgabe, den Zahlungsverkehr zu fördern, der aufgrund der unterschiedlichen damals im Umlauf befindlichen Währungen erschwert wurde. Die Amsterdamer Wechselbank nahm Geld der diversen Währungen an und schrieb die Einlage einem Konto in Bankgulden oder der fremdländischen Währung gut. Damit konnten zwischen den Konten verschiedener Personen bei der Bank bargeldlose Zahlungen vorgenommen werden.

Zuvor waren zwar 1587 in Venedig (Banco di Rialto) und 1593 in Mailand erste Wechselbanken gegründet worden, doch war die Wechselbank von Amsterdam, die am 31. Januar 1609 ihre Tore öffnete, die erste öffentliche Bank, die einen bargeldlosen Ausgleich von Forderungen zwischen Konten vornahm. Sie ist somit weltweit die erste Bank, die als Zentralbank bezeichnet werden kann.  (Quelle: Wikipedia).

In THE AMSTERDAMSCHE WISSELBANK schreibt Peter Douglas

The Wisselbank’s most vital feature was that it was a civic bank, not a privately owned or managed institution. Central to the bank’s success was the strong political support that it enjoyed, and confidence in it rested on the fact that it was controlled by the burgomasters and guaranteed by the city. It was also protected by the power of the Dutch state. While private banks sought profit at every opportunity, the overall objective of the Wisselbank was to stabilize the monetary and banking system with a view to strengthening Amsterdam as a center for foreign trade. With its reputation for integrity it acted as a stabilizing influence by minting high quality coins that had a firm purchasing power. Its high creditworthiness and liquidity created great confidence. The bank attracted foreign and Dutch capital and boosted the Dutch national financial interests.

Because of the dominant position of Amsterdam in international trading, and the city’s requirement that all payments exceeding a certain amount were to be settled via accounts in the Wisselbank, the bank’s clearing and settlement system quickly gained a dominant position in international payment systems. By the late 17th century the Amsterdamsche Wisselbank was one of the biggest commercial banks in existence, and its notes of exchange were recognized as valid tender everywhere.

Weitere Informationen:

The archives of the Amsterdam Wisselbank and the possibilities for differentiation within the Amsterdam mercantile community

THE WISSELBANK AND AMSTERDAM PRICE VOLATILITY: A FRACTAL TEST OF THE AUSTRIAN FRACTIONAL-RESERVE BANKING HYPOTHESIS

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