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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.