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Ancient history of banking

Everyone has at least once in their life seen a movie that shows America in the 19th century, where there is a small dusty town, and in the center of it rises a wooden building with the inscription Bank. According to the story, each of these faded five-street townhouses regularly attracted the attention of robbers, and banks were robbed daily. Thanks to this stereotype, many people may think that banking originated in the United States, but this is completely far from reality.
The history of banks began long before the described events. Back in Babylon, which flourished in the 7th century BC, there were the first moneylenders who gave loans at interest. At the same time, the first banknotes with the same value as gold appeared.

Even in ancient Egypt, there were those who gave money with interest. Since the army and military operations took up a large part of the already small budget, the Pharaohs turned to moneylenders and took some kind of credit.

The word “bank” has Italian roots and comes from the word banjo, which means “table”. At first, banks mainly changed big money into small money, conducted transactions with coins and other cash, but with the development of the economy of different countries, the primary banks greatly expanded the list of services provided.

In ancient times, developed countries already had banking systems. For example, the Chaldeans (Semitic tribes) created a merchant community, gave loans at interest and carried out money transfers. A kind of check book was introduced in China before our era; In the East, impregnable temples acted as repositories and priests as bankers.

With the development of commodity-money relations and the credit-financial system, there was a need to regulate this type of cooperation and its development, that is, these were the prerequisites for the creation of banking services. Merchants from different countries could go to the banks of that time and exchange their country’s currency for local currency, request a loan or deposit money.

No matter how much we complain, in the modern world, it is impossible to imagine the life of large holdings, small and medium entrepreneurs, or ordinary citizens without banks and credit. Today, almost everyone has a credit card.

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