Stoomweverij (The Royal steam-driven weaving factory) in 1874. The major banks only really became active in the local industrial sector from 1900 onwards.

Moreover, the banks remained aloof from the oil sector for a long time, the first issue only taking place in 1890 on behalf of Royal Dutch.

Dutch companies working in the Dutch East Indies began to come to the capital markets from 1863 onwards, with a significant increase in deals from 1895. The major financial institutions participated in a good many deals, confining themselves however to dealing with companies in the railway, tramway and sugar industries. As a general rule they steered clear of riskier ventures such as tobacco and rubber, and so it was left to the smaller financial players to arrange issues for companies in these sectors.

Banking concentration and the crises, 1914-1945

The Netherlands economy enjoyed spectacular growth from 1914 onwards, due firstly to the fact that the country maintained neutral status during the First World War, and subsequently because of the economic boom which followed the cessation of hostilities. This was a period of industrial development and also of banking concentration.

The financial sector witnessed the appearance of truly national players, as financial institutions such as Rotterdamsche Bank, Amsterdamsche Bank, Twentsche Bank and the NHM supplanted the old banking houses in the share issuance market. The major banks took over the commission houses. Rotterdamsche Bank was especially active, merging with the Deposito- en Administratie-Bank, which held strong positions in the securities business. The merged entity was re-named Rotterdamsche Bankvereeniging (Robaver). Robaver bought up a number of provincial banks and set up a network of branches and subsidiaries throughout the country. Other major banks followed the trend: in 1917, Twentsche Bank bought its former partner Wissel- en Effectenbank (Exchange & Securities Bank) and in 1918-1920 NHM joined forces with the Geldersche Credietvereeniging (Gelderland Credit Union).

Around this time, the old names were disappearing from the market, either being absorbed into the major institutions, or as was the case with the Marx & Co. Bank in 1922 going into liquidation. In fact the over-rapid expansion of lending led to the disappearance of a number of financial market players during the economic crisis that struck in 1921-1922. Shortly afterwards, despite suffering colossal losses in 1924, Robaver was rescued and restructured by the Nederlandsche Bank. The prudence that marked banking policy after this crisis period subsequently enabled the Dutch banks to come through the later 1930 crisis without too much difficulty.

Pierson & Co, Labouchere & Co and Mendelssohn & Co were already extremely active in the investment banking sphere, but new players were coming into the securities

34 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E N E T H E R L A N D S