Inventory of the Archives of the Lombard Bank, 1793 - 1843

Fonds Specifications


Biographical History
Economic conditions at the Cape led to the establishment of a Loan Bank on 15 March 1793, on the recommandation of Commissioners - General Nederburgh and Frijkenius.
The administration of the bank was managed by three commissioners, a cashier and a bookkeeper.
The duties of the commissioners, of whom one was to be the president and a member of the Council of Policy, the second a burgher and the third an official, were to take charge of the general management of the bank, wich included superintending loans, mortgages depositing of money, etc.
The bookkeeper, who was required to live in the bank, was responsible for the safety of valuables, which were deposited as security for loans. He also acted as recorder at meetings and assisted by the cashier, who was in charge of the petty cash, he valued perishable goods deposited as security and recorded daily the particulars of discharges and new loans.
The bank also employed a messenger, an auctioneer and an estimator of security for loans. [1]
It is evident from the cash book that the bank commenced business on 23 April 1793.
During the fifty years that the bank existed it underwent frequent changes as far its organisation, administration and policy were concerned. As from June 1808 the bank was under the direction of a president and three members, assisted by a bookkeeper, cashier and messenger. [2]The Discount Bank, established on 12 August 1808 as a branch of the Lombard Bank or Loan Bank, fell under the same direction. Only a bookkeeper, cashier and two clerks were augmented to the staff. [3]In 1822 the savings department was established as a division of the Discount Bank, being under the management of the president and the directors. They were assisted by the chief justice, colonial and military chaplains and the commandant of the garrison. [4]
Since 1825, when sterling was imported into the Cape and the economic situation changed, the bank's operations gradually declined. The need which the bank had fulfilled no longer existed, making it a redunant institution whose activities were limited to the recovery of overdue money. The general need for the establishment of private banks and the formation of the Cape of Good Hope Bank in 1836 [5]led to the decision by the authorities to close the Lombard Bank. According to an official notice issued, the bank was to be abolished as from 31 January, 1843. [6]
Hiatus exists within the archives, for example, the financial registers of the Discound and the saving banks as well as that of the Lombard Bank after 1827.