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Banskobystrická sporiteľňa, Banská Bystrica
At the end of August 1844, at the initiative of the mayor of Banská Bystrica, Jozef Glabits, and the deputy county head of the Zvolen County, Ľudovít Beniczký, the 149 most important representatives of Zvolen County met in the seat of the county office at Banská Bystrica to discuss a proposal to establish a savings bank, in the legal form of a joint stock company based on the model of Bratislavská sporiteľňa and Pesti hazai első takarékpénztár in Budapest. Besides the representatives of Hungarian and German nationality, representatives of Slovak national and political life (Karol Kuzmány, Samo Chalupka, Tomáš Hromada, Michal Rázus and others) began to take an interest in the administration of financial and credit affairs. At its next meeting on 21 December 1844, this preparatory county committee elected a temporary committee on the future bank led by Jozef Glabits; among its members were the evangelical priest Karol Kuzmány and probably also the writer Samo Chalupka.
The temporary committee held several meetings in late December 1844 and early 1845 to draft articles of association for the company following the model of Bratislavská sporiteľňa and set the share capital to 30,000 guldens, with 600 shares being issued at nominal value 50 guldens. The committee also agreed on the name Zvolenská sporiteľňa (Savings Bank of Zvolen), joint stock company in Banská Bystrica, as its members wanted to emphasize that it would serve the whole Zvolen County. It is assumed that the bank was registered in the Companies Register in the German (Sohler Sparkassa a. g., Neusohl), Hungarian (Zólyomi takarékpénztár r. t., Besterczebánya) and Slovak languages. The bank’s founding general meeting took place on 15 March 1845 at which the participants elected a 30-member executive committee headed by Ján Szumrák. Karol Kuzmány was also a member of the committee until 1850.
Ľudovít Štúr applauded the establishment of the new financial institution in the pages of Slovenské národné noviny (the Slovak National Newspaper) of 14 October 1845. However, during its development Zvolenská sporiteľňa failed to meet his expectations. Even though the founders of Zvolenská sporiteľňa initially declared its multiethnicity, it gradually became a victim of increasing economic nationalism and after 1890 it was completely under the control of Hungarian business and political circles. A scandal in 1864, investigated by the government commissioner for the institution, Carl von Szigety, exposed a political background in the bank’s activity. The inhabitants of the Zvolen County complained that the administration of bank refused to provide loans to applicants of Slovak nationality for political reasons. In 1880 the financial institution’s name was changed to Banskobystrická sporiteľňa, Banská Bystrica.
The establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic in 1918 brought substantial changes in the bank’s activity. Despite having suffered rather heavy foreign exchange losses incurred in connection with military loans provided between 1914 - 1918, it became the centre of a bidding war between several major Slovak banks seeking to control it during the process of concentration of the Slovak banking sector. Tatra banka made the first offer in 1920. By merging Banskobystrická sporiteľňa and Úverná banka, Banská Bystrica, it would create a new, strong financial institution, which would, even so, be its subsidiary.
This project’s failure in 1921 resulted in a tough fight for control over Banskobystrická sporiteľňa between Národná banka of Banská Bystrica and Slovenská banka in Bratislava. Although the administration board of Banskobystrická sporiteľňa concluded a merger agreement with Slovenská banka on 12 April 1921, the shareholders refused to accept it at the extraordinary general meeting convened on 7 May. Thanks to extensive agitation led by Viliam Pauliny, the victory in the prestigious fight was finally awarded to Národná banka. The merger was confirmed at the extraordinary general meeting of Národná banka on 3 November 1921.
The archival documents from Banskobystrická sporiteľňa’s fonds were stored in the corporate archives of Štátna banka československá in Bratislava and Ružomberok. In 1992 all the materials were already stored in the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska in Bratislava, in the premises located at 27 Krajná Street and later, in 2003, they were moved to the Archives building at 8 Cukrová Street. A temporary inventory to this fonds was compiled in 1968 and revised in the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska in 2015.