Chapter

From Imperial to Regional Banking: The Austrian Banking System, 1918–1938

Fritz Weber

in Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars

Published in print September 1995 | ISBN: 9780198288039
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596230 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198288034.003.0013
 From Imperial to Regional Banking: The Austrian Banking System, 1918–1938

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The central theme of this study of the Austrian banking system is the problem created by the impact on the large Viennese banks of the break‐up of the Austro‐Hungarian Empire. These banks were unwilling to accept the loss of their traditional spheres of influence. Instead of reorganizing their activity on the basis of a small national Austrian business, they attempted to maintain their previous position in Czechoslovakia and other newly independent states. The failure of this strategy and the steady accumulation of losses led eventually to the collapse of the Boden‐Credit‐Anstalt in 1929. Further repercussions followed in the spring of 1931, when the position of the Austrian Creditanstalt, the country's leading bank, became untenable and it was forced to ask for state support. The policy of contraction that the Austrian banks had been unwilling to accept at the beginning of the 1920s was thus forced upon them by the end of the decade, with major consequences for both the banking system and the Austrian currency.

Keywords: Austria; Austrian Creditanstalt; Austro‐Hungarian Empire; banks; Boden‐Credit‐Anstalt; contraction; currency; reorganization; spheres of influence; state support

Chapter.  8279 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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