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Ireland: A New Economic History 1780–1939$
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Cormac Gráda Ó

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205982

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205982.001.0001

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Banking and Industrial Finance, 1850–1939

Banking and Industrial Finance, 1850–1939

(p.349) 14 Banking and Industrial Finance, 1850–1939
Ireland: A New Economic History 1780–1939

Cormac Ó Gráda

Oxford University Press

Shortage of capital, particularly venture capital, was another common explanation for Ireland's industrial retardation. The argument stemmed in part from the allegedly high set-up costs of new industries during the Industrial Revolution: the lack of a proper capital market allegedly put the new technology out of reach of late-starting Irish entrepreneurs or forced them into small-scale ventures. A case study of early 19th-century Belfast suggests that the city's cotton mills were no less capitalized than their more successful British counterparts. Nor can shortage of capital mean that savings were lacking, since Ireland already possessed a highly developed banking system in mid-century, and on the eve of the First World War had more bank branches per head than either France or England. This chapter discusses banking and industrial finance in Ireland from 1850 to 1939, the lending activities of the Bank of Ireland and joint-stock banks, and company legislation.

Keywords:   Ireland, banking, finance, Bank of Ireland, joint-stock banks, venture capital, industries, savings, legislation, lending

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