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Dolnokubínsky sporiteľný a úverný ústav, Dolný Kubín

The financial institution was established by decision of the founding general meeting of shareholders on 18 May 1890 as Alsókubini takarék és hitelintézet, r. t., and the German designation according to its articles was Alsókubiner Spar- und Creditanstalt, A.G. It existed under this name until 28 October 1920, when it was registered in the Companies Register under a new Slovak name, as Dolnokubínsky sporiteľný a úverný ústav (Savings and Credit Institution of Dolný Kubín), joint stock company in Dolný Kubín, while also retaining its Hungarian and German names in its Articles of Association and Companies Register entry.

It began as a new legal entity with a share capital of 100,000 guldens in 1000 registered shares with a nominal value of 100 guldens. The shareholders paid for only two-thirds of the shares and a remaining balance of 34,000 guldens was paid in the years 1891 - 1897 from the institute’s annual profits. The institution raised its share capital to 200,000 Austro-Hungarian crowns (K) by drawing on a special reserve fund of K 100,000 which was transformed into share capital and shareholders received new registered shares with a nominal value of K 200 in place of the old 100-crown shares. A final increase of the share capital, from K 200,000 to K 300,000, took place in February 1918.

Approximately 95% of the shareholders were merchants, lawyers and office workers. The company’s founders were Otto Scholtz, Gustáv Klopstock, Felix Freud, Šalamún Duschnitz, Matej Starek, count Przemyslav Zierotin, the landlord of the village of Veličná, Mikuláš Kubínyi, director of Orava county, August Diveky, public notary and others. There were also shareholders of Slovak nationality: Karol A. Jozef Šurina, Lénart Klinovský, Dezider Meško, etc.

Otto Scholtz was director with Gustav Klopstock as his deputy. The bank was managed by a committee of 16 members and a 5-member supervisory committee. The company’s recruitment policy stressed that in addition to the usual professional qualities, employees had to have a command of Hungarian and German. The Slovak language was not important, its spoken form was sufficient. All the company’s documents were kept in Hungarian until 1920, when the bank changed its name into Slovak.

According to its articles of association, the bank’s activities included deposit-taking through savings books and current accounts, discounting and rediscounting of bills, dealing in securities, purchase and sale of securities listed on the Budapest and Vienna Stock Exchanges, authorisation of Lombard loans for these papers, loans for purchase and sale of goods, issuing of guarantees, and depository transactions.

Loans were provided mainly to merchants. Even before the First World War, the bank provided a loan to Donath and Haas Co. in Budapest, and Meisel Samu Co. in Vienna. The bank extended a loan of K 250,000 to the cellulose factory in Žilina several times, it also granted a loan of K 44,000 to the refinery in Žilina and a loan to a button factory in Tvrdošín amounting to K 20,000. From its establishment until the beginning of the First World War, it achieved relatively good results in the growth of deposits, loans, profits and it paid dividends of 8-10% per year.

In 1913, the bank recorded deposits of K 1.94 million, in 1918 K 3.56 million, and 3.27 million Czechoslovak crowns (Kč) in 1920. On the other hand, bills of credit in 1913 accounted for K 1.69 million, in 1918 stood only at K 687,000, and in 1920 made up only Kč 426,000. The decline of bills of credit during the First World War was compensated by increased lending on current accounts. In 1913, such lending amounted to K 506,000, but in 1918 it had grown to K 1.76 million. The bank drew on rediscounting services from Budapest banks as necessary. The assets on its balance sheet for 1920 included securities, classified as doubtful and withheld from stamping, with a value of Kč 634,000. The bank posted this amount as a loss on securities, but its real losses on securities were in fact higher. Three quarters of the share capital were written off when settling losses in a merger.

During the First World War, the bank started to purchase war loans in bulk and deposited them at the Osztrák magyar bank and Budapesti székesfövárosi bank. The war loans bought in this way amounted to K 1.76 million, which according to the balance sheet as at 31 December 1920 accounted for up to 53.77% of the deposits on savings books. Even the employees’ pension fund, which had been formed under a special statute in 1897 and amounted in total to K 70,000, was placed in war loans.

After the end of the war, the bank was in a very bad situation as its own funds were frozen in surpluses deposited in Budapest banks, in war loans and in authorized Lombard loans for the purpose of war loans amounting to more than 50% of own and entrusted resources. The bank collected liquid funds deposited in Budapest and transferred them to Slovakia as late as 1921, but financial losses could no longer be avoided. Only the skill and contacts of managerial staff saved the bank from collapse. The bank managed to transfer its securities from Budapest and arrange the stamping of its banknotes. Since the institution was no longer in a condition allowing it to manage its affairs autonomously, the bank’s management acquiesced to a merger with Úverná banka, joint stock company in Martin. Under the merger agreement, the taking-on institution assumed all assets and liabilities of Dolnokubínsky sporiteľný a úverný ústav and payed off Kč 50 per one share (although their nominal value was Kč 200) to shareholders or, exchanged 3 shares of the transferring money institution per one share of Kč 200; and at the same time took over the pension fund under the promise of paying off the pension to the then chief accountant Kuffler. Úverná banka then transformed Dolnokubínsky sporiteľný a úverný ústav into its branch in Dolný Kubín with effect from 1 January 1922.

The preserved documents in the fonds were placed in the corporate archives of Štátna banka československá in Ružomberok. The first temporary inventory was created there in 1968. The archive fonds was transferred to Národná banka Slovenska in Bratislava in 1995. The original inventory was completed and revised in 2016. It predominantly consists of minutes of bank management meetings in the period 1890 - 1921.

Last updated: Monday, September 16, 2019