Banque Russe Pour le Commerce Étranger
Русский для Внешней Торговли Банкъ
Russian Bank for Foreign Trade
Russische Bank für Auswärtigen Handel
Other city spellings: St.-Pétersbourg, Petrograd, Pétrograde
Formed in 1871 with head office in St. Petersburg. Initial capital was 7,500,000 roubles in shares of 250 roubles. By 1914, capital had increased to 60,000,000 roubles and by 1916, to 75,000,000 roubles in shares of 250 roubles. English Court order to wind up in February 1933.
Russian Bank for Foreign Trade was one of the largest Russian banks. It was founded in St. Petersburg in 1871 with the participation of large German banks, in particular Deutsche Bank, with which it retained close ties. The charter of the bank was approved by Alexander II on June 4 (16), 1871. Initial capital was 7.5 million roubles in shares of 250 roubles each. All shares were distributed among the founders and other shareholders invited by them before the approval of the charter. Among the founders of the bank were the banking houses “E. M. Meyer & Co., Wieneken & Co., I. E. Gunzburg”, “Leon Rosenthal”, “Thomson Bonar and Co”; trading house “Eliseev Brothers”; trading house “Vogau and Co”, as well as trading houses in Odessa, Riga, Warsaw, Taganrog and Arkhangelsk.
From 1871 to 1874, the largest Russian financier and statesman, E. I. Lamansky, was Chairman of the bank. Initially, the bank’s charter allowed only branches abroad, but in 1893 the bank was granted permission to open branches in the territory of the Russian Empire. 66 branches were opened in Russia, 4 branches operated abroad: in Paris, London, Genoa, Constantinople. The bank’s own capital in 1914 amounted to 67 million roubles, fixed assets – 419 million roubles, net profit in 1916 – 18 million roubles.
Despite the fact that the bank participated in the establishment of the Sormovo Factory Society, the Engine Society, financed the Electric Lighting Society 1886, patronized the Kyiv Machine-Building Plant, Electric Force and others, its main activity was trade lending. Participation in various industrial enterprises accounted for 38% of the bank’s assets. In 1900, to varying degrees, the bank controlled 10 enterprises with a capital of 50 million roubles, in 1914 – 17 enterprises with a capital of 143 million roubles, and in 1917 – 74 enterprises with a capital of 336 million roubles (including 17 heavy industry enterprises with a capital of 192 million roubles). As a rule, in all these enterprises the bank participated in the composition of banking groups as a junior partner. The decisive influence of the bank belonged only to the sugar industry, where it controlled 33 enterprises producing 20% of the total volume of sugar, with a capital of 53 million roubles.
In 1914-17, the head of the Russian Bank for Foreign Trade was the former director of the credit office of the Ministry of Finance, L. F. Davydov, the chairman of the Council of the bank was the former minister of trade and industry, V. I. Timiryazev; In 1917 the Council included former Chairman of the Council of Ministers V. N. Kokovtsov and former Minister of Foreign Affairs N. N. Pokrovsky. In 1917, a large block of shares in the Russian bank for foreign trade was acquired by the Russian Commercial and Industrial Bank, which was the first step towards the merger of these two banks, scheduled for the same year, with the participation of the Petrograd International Commercial Bank as a third partner. However, due to the outbreak of the revolution, this did not happen. Together with other private banks, the Russian Bank for Foreign Trade was nationalised by joining the State Bank of the Russian Republic by a decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of December 14 (27), 1917. By a decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of January 23 (February 5), 1918, the share capital of the bank, along with the share capital of other private banks, was confiscated in favor of the State Bank of the Russian Republic. The Kiev branch, which ended up on the territory of the Ukrainian People’s Republic, continued its activities until 1919. (Source: HisDoc.Ru)