The NBS Archives are open to the public at the following times:

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
9 a.m. to 12 noon / 12:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Archives are closed to the public in July, August and September.

The Archives will be closed from 20 Mar 2020 until further notice. 

Dunajská banka, Bratislava

The history of Dunajská banka dates back to the year 1912 when the Budapest-based financial institution Egyesült Budapesti Fővárosi takarékpénztár initiated the founding of Západouhorský bankový spolok in Bratislava. It was established as a joint stock company with a share capital of 400,000 Austro-Hungarian crowns (K), the majority of which was owned by the founding institution from Budapest.

Dunajská banka, Bratislava - budova centrály v Bratislave (reklama)The purpose of the new institution was to carry out all banking operations fully in line with the trade policy and interests of its founder. This subordination was also reflected in the composition of the administrative bodies. Rezsö Havass, an agent of the Budapest-based financial institution, became the chairman of the institution’s administrative body, while one of the company’s officers Pavol Kadoša was appointed its general director. The other members of the bank’s management were selected from among Bratislava’s wholesalers, manufacturers and public officials. Such a composition of the financial institution’s administrative bodies was designed to ensure a smooth and quick entry into the market, which, in the end, was successfully achieved.

This personnel policy continued in the years following the establishment of the First Czechoslovak Republic, when the number of administrative board members was increased to include new socially, politically and economically significant figures. Over time, the bank recruited two ministers – Milan Hodža and Jozef Kállay – as board members. New contacts and the management’s flexibility in responding to the changing political and economic environment catapulted the bank among significant economic agents not only in Bratislava, but also in a greater part of Slovakia, thanks to its wide network of branches. The first branch was opened in Galanta a mere two years after the bank was founded. During the 1920s and 1930s, the bank extended its geographical footprint to Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia and, later on, to eastern, western and central Slovakia, primarily by merging with small rural financial institutions. The growth in the number of branches also had a significant impact on the volume of deposits. An uneven ratio between own and entrusted funds forced the bank to gradually increase its share capital, which reached 2 million crowns by 1917. A further increase to 10 million Czechoslovak crowns (Kč) in April 1920 reflected the effects of post-war inflation. With the new issue of stock, which were subscribed mainly by Pavol Kadoša, Július Reisz and other members of the administrative board, the Budapest-based bank ceased to be the majority stockholder and lost its influence over the financial institution.

The new constitutional situation was also reflected in the name of the bank. In January 1920, the bank changed its name to Bankový spolok and on 6 November of the same year it was registered in the Companies Register as Dunajská banka. In terms of its legal form, the bank continued to be a joint stock company, with its clients being predominantly entrepreneurs, traders and farmers belonging to the national minorities. The bank did not update its business and lending strategy, which remained focused mainly on the partitioning of large agricultural estates, the funding of timber extraction, processing and import, as well as on the investments into food and other industries. Despite its large capital potential, the bank was not active in establishing new industrial undertakings. The interest charged for commercial and agricultural loans was rather high. In 1930, i.e. at the peak of the bank’s prosperity, the average interest rate on bills of credit excluding commissions was 9.22%.

In the years to follow, the bank’s economic situation started to deteriorate rapidly. Due to uncollectible commercial loans, the bank suffered significant losses and had to fight liquidity problems, which culminated during the crisis years of 1931 - 1937. Therefore, when the economic downturn of the 1930s led to devaluation and agricultural moratorium, the majority owners sold their bank stocks in 1937 to a financial group backed by Zväz roľníckych vzájomných pokladníc (Association of Farmers Mutual Treasuries). By reorganising the bank’s ownership structure, it was supposed to become an agricultural financial institution that would fund secondary agricultural production. This plan, however, was never implemented due to the bank’s very high financial losses.

The already difficult situation of the bank deteriorated even further on the back of the political and economic development after 1938, with the territorial changes causing the bank to lose 12 of its branches in southern Slovakia, together with the funds stored in these branches. The bank was forced to draw more and more on rediscounted loans and, at the same time, carried out several large financial transactions which, however, failed to bring about a significant rebound to its economic situation. Based on an in-depth examination conducted in 1940, the Audit Department of Slovenská národná banka estimated the bank’s losses at 40.31 million Slovak crowns (Ks), with the share capital and the reserve fund standing only at Ks 27.6 million. A government commissioner was appointed to supervise the bank’s activities. At the bidding of the Ministry of Finance, the activities of the previous administrative bodies were examined, in particular those of the chairman of the administrative board, the bank’s legal representative and the chairman of the supervisory executive authority. Due to the bank’s unfavourable situation, the Ministry of Finance put Sedliacka banka in charge of its liquidation with effect from 1 January 1942. In 1949, Dunajská banka merged with Slovenská všeobecná úverná banka and in 1950 it was deleted from the Commercial Register.

Documents of the Lučenec and Žilina branches were stored in the archives of Štátna banka československá (ŠBČS) in Ružomberok together with the corresponding registry lists. In 1992 - 1993 they were transferred to the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska at 27 Krajná Street in Bratislava.

Archive documents of the Komárno, Levice, Nitra, Nové Zámky and Topoľčany branches were stored in the corporate archive of ŠBČS in Nitra. In 1962 they were moved to the corporate archives of ŠBČS in Marianka and later, in 1975 - 1977, to the new building of the archives at 27 Krajná Street in Bratislava.

Preserved documents from the Humenné, Michalovce, Sečovce, Sobrance and Veľké Kapušany branches of Dunajská banka were stored in the archives of ŠBČS in Košice. Registry lists for these documents were prepared between 1964 and 1967. In 1995 - 1996, the documents were transferred to the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska in Bratislava.

Documents from the bank’s headquarters in Bratislava were stored and partially processed at the corporate archives of ŠBČS in Marianka. In 1975-1977 they were moved to the new building of the archives at 27 Krajná Street in Bratislava. In 2003, all the documents of Dunajská banka were transferred to the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska at 8 Cukrová Street in Bratislava, bringing the entire archive fonds together.

The documents are written in Hungarian, German and Slovak. They include mainly annual reports, minutes of administrative and supervisory board meetings, documents about real estate owned by the bank, and documents about its audits and liquidation.

Last updated: Monday, September 16, 2019