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Národná banka, Banská Bystrica

Národná banka (National Bank), joint stock company in Banská Bystrica, continued the activities of Zvolenská ľudová banka established in 1902.

After the First World War in 1920, Zvolenská ľudová banka took over Pomocnica – úverná banka, Brezno, Meštianska banka, Zvolen, Krupinská sporiteľňa and Krupinská ľudová banka. The extraordinary general meeting which took place on 30 December 1920 increased the bank’s capital to 12 million Czechoslovak crowns (Kč) and changed its name. The seat of Národná banka remained in Zvolen. When, in 1921, it also took over Banskobystrická sporivá banka (established in 1845 under the name Zvolenská sporiteľňa) and acquired new official premises, the bank's management consisting of Ján Vesel (chairman of the general administration) and Viliam Pauliny (chief executive director) moved the bank’s seat to Banská Bystrica on 3 November 1921.

With time the bank acquired also Tekovskosvätokrížska sporiteľňa in today’s Žiar nad Hronom, Pukanská ľudová banka and Necpalský úverný spolok. In 1931 it had branches in Brezno, Detva, Dobrá Niva, Kremnica, Krupina, Levice, Pliešovce, Pukanec, Šahy, Slovenská Ľupča, Žiar nad Hronom, Martin and Zvolen, and sub-branches in Necpaly, Ľubietová and Turé Pole. All these were financial institutions with seats in Central Slovakia, where the bank operated. It provided mainly loans backed by promissory notes and mortgages, funded business activities, owned shares of the fruit company Fatra in Banská Bystrica, a steam mill in Krupina, a stove-building plant in Rybáre (today Sliač), Central Distillery in Zvolen and the spa in Kováčová which came into the bank's sole ownership in 1926.

The first post-war crisis in 1922 – 1923 brought losses for the bank mainly as a result of its unsuccessful activities in Drevársky účastinársky spolok, Československá účastinná spoločnosť pre obchod, priemysel a hospodárstvo, and also in the Haas and Hašek bookshop in Zvolen. In December 1925, its statutes were modified to enable it to accept orphan deposits and issue savings books. The bank’s overall favourable development, which was mainly the result of its prudent management, allowed it to cooperate in the rescue of Ľudová banka, Ružomberok, which was successfully completed in 1927.

The bank was harder hit by the Great Depression in the years 1932 – 1933. The salaries of the bank’s staff (including the director) were decreased as of 1 January 1933, profits fell to Kč 483,000 and almost the whole amount was used to pay dividends of 4%. In 1934, the bank even decreased its share capital from Kč 12 million to Kč 10.8 million. The bank’s situation gradually stabilised and in the period 1935 – 1939 it again paid dividends of 4%.

However, political events in the years 1938 – 1939 adversely affected the activities of the bank. After the First Vienna Arbitration in November 1938, the bank had to dissolve its branches in Levice and Šahy. The Ministry of Finance ordered on 6 December 1939, as part of the bank concentration process, that Národná banka would be incorporated into Ľudová banka, Ružomberok, which was very hard for Viliam Pauliny to bear after participating in that bank’s recovery in 1920s. He applied for leave on account of health and then he retired. In 1940, Štefan Kindernay deputised for him in the bank's management, from 1941 Milam Kulišek was the chief executive director and Miloš Vančo was the chairman of the board of directors. Together with other representatives of the bank, they strived to maintain its independence, and eventually they succeeded. The Ministry of Finance cancelled its previous decision on 12 April 1940 and ordered Národná banka to take over Obchodná banka in Banská Bystrica and to omit the word “národná” (national) in its name, which was reserved for the central bank of the state – Slovenská národná banka (Slovak National Bank) in Bratislava. Národná banka was therefore renamed Stredoslovenská banka (Bank of Central Slovakia) at the extraordinary general meeting which took place on 6 June 1940. Its operations were terminated by a decree of the Executive Authority for Finance of 30 January 1948, based on which it merged with Tatra banka with effect from 1 January 1948.

The archival material of Národná banka, Banská Bystrica, was deposited in the corporate archives of Štátna banka československá in Ružomberok, from where it was moved to the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska in Bratislava at 27 Krajná Street in the years 1992 – 1993. In 2003 the archival documents were moved to the building of its archives at 8 Cukrová Street in Bratislava. An inventory to the fonds was prepared in 1968 and the whole archival fonds was consolidated and revised in 2016.

The preserved material predominantly consists of official books, namely minutes and reports of general meetings and books of shareholders, annual reports and final accounts for the years 1921 – 1939. The records concerning the spa in Kováčová are especially valuable.

Last updated: Monday, September 16, 2019