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Ústredná likvidačná kancelária peňažných ústavov, Bratislava
After the Second World War, liquidation of financial institutions of Hungarian and German legal entities was ordered by Decree No 108 of the President of the Republic of 25 October 1945 on the confiscation of enemy property. They were included in the confiscated property for liquidation. The Executive Authority for Finance appointed liquidators for these banks. In 1947, their liquidation was taken over by Ústredná likvidačná kancelária peňažných ústavov (Central Liquidation Office of Financial Institutions) in Bratislava, operating through regional offices.
The founding meeting of the general liquidation administration, appointed by a decree of the Executive Authority for Finance No 12263/47-VI/18 of 27 October 1947, took place on 13 November 1947 in its administrative office in Bratislava at 1 Leningradská Street (today Laurinská Street). The chairman of the administration was Július Sokol, the section head of the Executive Authority for Finance, the vice-chairman was Alexander Marko, the director of Bratislavská obchodná a úverná banka and the other members of the administration were Arnošt Skalník, an official of Českomoravská banka, Igor Dula, the provincial vice-president, and Karol Šnor, a bank manager. The chairman of the supervisory commission was Štefan Beňák, the chief trade union counsellor of the Executive Authority for Finance, and František Capoušek, the chief accounting officer of the Executive Authority for Finance, was also a member of the commission.
Based on the above decree of the Executive Authority for Finance, this administration had to take over management of the liquidated banks within 15 days and set up regional liquidation offices. Alexander Marko and Arnošt Skalník made a business trip to the liquidated banks from 5 to 22 November 1947 and based on their findings, the following regional liquidation offices (OLK) were established: in Komárno (OLK I), Galanta (OLK II), Levice (OLK III), Rimavská Sobota (OLK IV), Košice (OLK V), and Poprad (OLK VI).
The following banks were under the scope of competence of OLK I: Komárňanská prvá sporiteľňa in Komárno with a branch in Dunajská Streda, Novozámocká sporiteľňa in Nové Zámky with a branch in Dunajská Streda, the branch of Maďarská všeobecná úverná banka in Nové Zámky, the branch of Národný úverný ústav in Nové Zámky, Bratia Haulík, bankový a komanditný obchod, in Nové Zámky. Under the scope of competence of OLK II fell Galantská úverná banka in Galanta and Prvá šaľská sporiteľňa in Šaľa; OLK III had in its competence Tekovská ľudová banka in Levice with branches in Šahy, Vráble, Štúrovo, Želiezovce, Komárno, Nové Zámky, Levická sporiteľňa in Levice and Šahská sporiteľňa in Šahy. OLK IV included Rimavskosobotská banka in Rimavská Sobota, the branch of Národný úverný ústav in Rimavská Sobota and Tornaľská sporiteľňa in Tornaľa. The scope of competence of OLK V included Čerehátska banka in Nižný Medzev, Obchodná banka in Košice, Spojená úverná banka and Košická sporiteľňa in Košice with branches in Rožňava and Lučenec, the branch of Eskomptná a zmenárenská banka in Košice, Gazdovský úverný ústav in Kráľovský Chlmec, Kráľovskochlmecká hospodárska a obchodná banka in Kráľovský Chlmec. OLK VI took over all branches of Bratislavská obchodná a úverná banka in the Spiš region, namely in Kežmarok, Gelnica, Levoča, Podolínec, Poprad, Spišská Belá, Spišská Nová Ves, Spišská Sobota and in Nálepkovo (Vondrišel).
The head of OLK I was Tibor Krausze, his deputy Ľudevít Kasza. The head of OLK II was Václav Rychetský, his deputy Jozef Keppert; the head of OLK III was Karol Kočiš and his deputies Alžbeta Papová and Jolana Kailová; the head of OLK IV was Ján Mišpal and his deputy Vladimír Káposztás; the head of OLK V was Jindřich Stejskal and his deputy Ferdinand Matern. Šamorínsky úverný ústav was under the direct supervision of the Central Liquidation Office, whereas Spišská úverná banka in Levoča was supervised by Karol Korec, the director of Tatra banka’s branch in Poprad.
The Central Liquidation Office had departments for legal affairs, credit, organizational and review issues, personnel, deposits and releases, accounting, and real estate. It was supposed to manage the Bratislava region directly: Bratislavská prvá sporivá banka, Union banka, Bratislavská obchodná a úverná banka, and Šamorínsky úverný ústav. At the time of the Office’s establishment, Alexander Marko, Karol Šnor and Arnošt Skalník were assigned responsibility for this region. The legal affairs department was headed by Arnošt Skalník and his deputy was Ján Pavel Vámossy, the credit department was headed by Július Blaas, the organizational and review department by Imrich Kardoš, and his deputy was Arnošt Csáder, the personnel department was headed by Karol Mareček, the real estate department by Viliam Bernard, deposits and releases by Augustín Sasák and accounting by Jaroslav Mašingr with his deputy Fridrich Písečný.
In its operations, the Office mainly dealt with issues related to post-war relations with Hungary concerning loans and other claims of legal entities and natural persons. It handled the claims of financial institutions from the territories returned to Slovakia after the Second World War, which came from the pre-war and wartime periods and related to foreign countries (for example, the liquidated banks’ shares in foreign enterprises). It dealt with the so-called “trophy banks” and the sale of assets from liquidated confiscated properties. The Office was also in charge of personnel management in liquidated financial institutions. It related not only to recruitment and dismissals, but also to allocation and withdrawal of apartments, which were in very short supply after the war. There were often conflicts with local government (its national committees). In the turbulent post-war years, crimes were committed against the property of the liquidated banks, so it also dealt with such problems.
By Decree No 12263/47-VI/18 of the Executive Authority for Finance of 27 October 1947 amended by Decree No 13774/47-VI/18 of 17 November 1947, Elo Šándor, Director of Slovenská hypotečná a komunálna banka, became the chairman of the Central Liquidation Office. However, he pushed through that the former chairman Alexander Marko should continue to work in the Office.
In August 1948, the Office considered ways to simplify its tasks and provide for the economic viability of its administrative offices. It concluded that the best solution was for property in liquidation (i.e. the liquidated financial institutions) to be managed through the network of Tatra banka’s branches. These financial institutions had many outstanding claims: from loans provided to confiscated properties, loans provided to displaced persons, from agricultural property confiscated under Presidential Decree No 104/1945 and other regulations, on nationalised enterprises, and from participation in nationalised enterprises, national enterprises and confiscated properties.
On 20 July 1948, Likvidačný fond menový, which was already operating at that time, recommended concentration of administrative offices, personnel reduction and incorporation of liquidated institutions, which had difficulty covering their operational overheads, into live financial institutions.
In October 1948, the Central Liquidation Office was responsible for liquidation of 24 financial institutions, out of which 19 were banks in Slovakia, 4 were branches of Slovak financial institutions in Hungary and one was a banking enterprise in the form of a public limited company (Bratia Haulík, bankový a komisionársky obchod, Nové Zámky). As of 31 December 1947, the value of the managed assets amounted to 1.709 billion Czechoslovak crowns (Kčs). The value of deposited securities and other values in custody totalling Kčs 920.4 million was added to this liquidation balance. The amount of Kčs 357.9 million from the given amount was spoils of war, i.e. securities taken over in 1945 by the Red Army. As of 31 December 1947, the Office managed 94,710 accounts.
The difficult job facing the Office was documented by the fact that it had to make annual final accounts with annexes for all 24 institutions, together with their tax returns; monthly reports on each institution had to be submitted to the credit departments of Národná banka Československá and Likvidačný fond menový; gross balance sheets or general ledger statements were drawn up for the Central Liquidation Office; situational reports with stocks statements were submitted to the Executive Authority for Finance through the audit department of Národná banka Československá; and the stock-taking of term deposits was handled for the Tax Administration. Every quarter, the Office had to compile statistical reports for Štátny plánovací a štatistický úrad and reports on foreign claims and commitments for Národná banka Československá.
The institution also kept a central record of all loans, records of all real estates and rentals, and personnel files. The handling of regular correspondence included, among others, the release agenda of term deposits. The total number of employees in the 24 liquidated institutions before the front passed in 1945 was 906 persons, as of 1 December 1947 (at the time of establishment of the Office) 151 persons, and as of 30 June 1948 only 120, while a reduction to 103 persons was expected. Equally, the number of administrative offices for liquidated institutions was 62 before the front passed, as of 31 August 1948 only 16, and in October of the same year only 12.
In October 1945, the management of the Central Liquidation Office proposed to merge 19 confiscated properties in liquidation into a single institution and to merge the then 6 regional liquidation offices into three to four (it was planned that offices would remain in Poprad or Levoča, in Košice, Levice, and in Komárno or Nové Zámky). By Decree No 7709/49-VI/18 of the Executive Authority for Finance of 30 June 1949, Slovenská Tatra banka, national enterprise, was entrusted with liquidation of financial institutions - liquidated confiscated properties. In fact, by that decree, the operation of the Central Liquidation Office was terminated. In January 1950, Alexander Leipnik became the chairman of the newly established Liquidation Commission of Slovenská Tatra banka, his deputy was Jozef Hovorka, and other members were Alexander Fábry, Karol Šnor and Karol Mareček, the latter represented the works council. The activities of the Liquidation Commission were subject to the authorisation of the Executive Authority for Finance, and in the case of operations requiring payments the Commission had a free hand for up to Kčs 20,000.
In accordance with a decree of the Ministry of Finance, almost all liquidated confiscated properties were retrospectively removed from the Commercial Register as of 1 January 1949. Previously, they merged by universal succession with Slovenská všeobecná úverná banka, national enterprise in liquidation, in Bratislava. With effect from 1 July 1950, the Act of 9 March 1950 established Štátna banka československá, which took over all the rights and obligations of Slovenská všeobecná úverná banka in 1951.
Only a very limited number of documents documenting the operation of the Office in the years 1947 – 1948 has been preserved. They consist mainly of minutes of meetings of the general liquidation administration and the Liquidation Commission of Slovenská Tatra banka, situational reports for the Executive Authority for Finance, balance sheets, financial reports and diverse correspondence of liquidated financial institutions. The documents were deposited in the archives of Štátna banka československá, in a former monastery at Marianka. In 1975 – 1977 they were moved to a new utility building of the archive of Štátna banka československá located at 27 Krajná Street in Bratislava and later, in 2003, they were transferred to the Archives of Národná banka Slovenska at 8 Cukrová Street. An inventory of the fonds was prepared in 2016.