Banks and the First World War

19 08 2014

War Memorial in Office of Barings Bank


The centenary of the First World War has prompted a number of British banks have created websites about their experiences during the First World War.

They include: Baring Archives;  Midlands Bank Royal Bank of ScotlandLloyds Banking Group,and Barclays. The Bank of England also has a section on its website about the First World War.


The US Federal Reserve has posted an essay on The Federal Reserve’s Role during World War I.


I’ve noticed that the historical sections of the websites of leading Canadian banks studiously avoid references to the centenary of the First World War. This is true of the website of the Bank of Montreal, which has its nominal headquarters in the province of Quebec. The historical section of the website does mention that the bank established temporary branches to serve soldiers during this divisive war.


Over in the Eurozone, banks have said much less about the war on their websites. The history section of the Banque de France does not include any materials related to centenary of the First World War, even though the Banque de France was in existence in 1914. Neither the Bundesbank nor the European Central Bank mention the war on their websites, although these are newer organisations.


H/T to The Exchange.