Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Bank of issue
(903 words)

All credit institutions that issue banknotes are called banks of issue. A special form of bank of issue is the central bank or central bank of issue, which, as protector of the currency in a currency realm, possesses a monopoly on the issuing of bank notes and functions as a reserve bank (banks’ bank).

The earliest banks of issue were run in the 17th century by the London goldsmith bankers, who issued deposit certificates and later “goldsmith notes” for their customers’ deposits. Since in general fewer notes were redeemed than issued, the goldsmith bankers were able to guarantee credit for…

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North, Michael, “Bank of issue”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_024850>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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