their stock. This investment banking trend was then spreading throughout Europe. In 1856, there were various plans to establish this type of financial institution in the Netherlands, but the government judged this business to be too speculative. Nevertheless in 1863, the Algemeene Maatschappij voor Handel en Nijverheid (General Company for Trade and Industry) was established, the Crédit mobilier taking a 50% stake alongside a number of Belgian and Dutch shareholders. The company began by setting up a bank and a railway company in the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). But due to imprudent management and a fraud perpetrated against the company, it went into liquidation some years later. This new type of investment banking also influenced Dr Samuel Sarphati, who initiated a similar project that failed. Founded in 1871, the Amsterdamsche Bank6 was also strongly influenced by this new approach. This bank, which was set up with German and Austrian capital, undertook both commercial banking and investment banking activities and was highly active on the securities secondary markets and new issues markets. Having suffered serious losses during the 1873 crisis, the bank adopted a more prudent policy, which then enabled it to grow and establish a major position in the banking industry.

It is not easy to categorise the players in the financial markets at that time since almost all the financial houses were carrying out transactions both on behalf of their clients and on their own account. Moreover, operating alongside the well-known financial institutions were a large number of small operators known as commission houses . The market was unregulated, which led to the setting up of sector associations calling for a better organised and more transparent market. Thus in 1876, the Vereeniging voor den Effectenhandel (VdvE) the Association for the Securities Trade was set up on the initiative of a group of bankers and brokers. It was actively supported by Amsterdamsche Bank, Twentsche Bank and Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas and their senior management became members at the outset. This was not however an association of banks and brokerage houses; membership was entirely on a personal basis.

6. In 1964 this bank became the Amsterdam-Rotterdam Bank (AMRO Bank).


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