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Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars$
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Charles H. Feinstein

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198288034.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.337) 12 From Imperial to Regional Banking: The Austrian Banking System, 1918–1938
Source:
Banking, Currency, and Finance in Europe Between the Wars
Author(s):

Fritz Weber

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198288034.003.0013

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

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