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Saint-Petersburg Society of Mutual Credit

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Dec 16, 2021

Saint-Petersburg Society of Mutual Credit (Russian: Санкт-Петербургское Общество взаимного кредита) was the first commercial credit bank in Russia focused on crediting of business and tangible assets deposits. The bank was founded in April 1863 by Evgeny Lamansky, then a vice-president of the Russian State Bank. It started operating in 1864.

Saint-Petersburg Society of Mutual Credit

1st Saint-Petersburg Society of Mutual credit, 13 Griboyedov embankment.
Native name
Санкт-Петербургское Общество взаимного кредита
Type Public stock company
Industry Banking
Founded 9 April 1863
Founder Evgeny Lamansky
Defunct October 1918
Fate Dissolved by the Soviet regime
Headquarters Saint-Petersburg,

Key people
Evgeny Lamansky
Services loans, assets deposits

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A massive fire that took place in Petersburg in 1862, when many city residents and traders, lost their properties, made Evgeny Lamanski pay attention to the Western system of bank crediting of small business.[1] He suggested to the then minister of financies Count Michael von Reutern the project of a society of mutual credit.[1] The idea had support from many bankers and merchants. On April 9, 1863, the Russian Emperor signed the Charter of the first Saint-Petersburg Society of Mutual credit. On March 17, 1864, the Society started operating.[1] Now small Russian traders were saved the need to take loans from foreign banks.[1] The first Society of mutual credit had triggered similar organizations throughout the empire.

First the Society was made of 300 members, all rich merchants and industrialists. Later it became more focused on smaller business.[2] Accounts operations brought the Society the most profit. In 1864 the operations with running accounts brought income of 4,000,000 Rubles, and this number was rising each year (over 17,000,000 in 1865 and over 40,000,000 in 1866) reaching its peak in 1869 – over 395,000,000 Rubles.[2] The success had resulted in membership growing each year (from 300 in 1864 to the peak in 1874 – 9,072 members).[2] Members included both individuals and organizations.

The Society offered services from bill issuing to loans and deposits. The company was first in Russia to have introduced bank checks and running accounts.[1] The Society attracted many large companies and organizations. It often gave loans to the State Bank of Russia.[1]

Apart from business interests, the Society was known for its philanthropy. Society employees had additional bonuses to salaries, which rose according to inflation. The Society shared in social activities, including support of regions suffering from low harvest, war campaigns and monuments setup.[3] The Society’s employees and poorest members received monetary support for their children’s education.[2]

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