This chapter is an article writen by Bernard van Marken and Piet Geljon, and published in February 2010 in the journal of the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH), and in Histoire, Economie et Société, n°1, March 2013.

It is quite well known that the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (Paribas) was created in 1872 as a result of the merger between the French Banque de Paris and the Dutch Nederlandsche Credit- en Deposito Bank (NCDB), which was established in Amsterdam. This bank was also known under the name of the Banque de crédit et de dépôt des Pays-Bas. Nonetheless, the details of the latter s creation aren t as well known.

The French and international banking literature attributes the foundation of the Dutch ancestor of Paribas to Louis-Raphaël Bischoffsheim and his nephews the Bambergers, Baron Maurice de Hirsch, Meyer Joseph Cahen d Anvers as well as Alphonse Pinard and Edouard Hentsch, who represented the Comptoir National d Escompte de Paris12. However, according to Dutch sources, the foundation of the Amsterdam bank was the initiative of Dr. Samuel Sarphati, an ardent promoter of the economic and social development of Amsterdam in the middle of the nineteenth century13.

The Dutch sources are unfortunately not easily accessible to foreign researchers due to the language. This condensed article reveals for the first time more details about the Dutch dimension of the Paribas history to the English-speaking community of researchers. It discloses new facts about the origins of Paribas and the Banque de crédit et de dépôt des Pays-Bas, and it thus enriches our knowledge of this group.

12. See Eric Bussière, Paribas, Europe and the World 1872-1992, (Antwerp, 1992), p. 20-22; European Association for Banking History e.V., Handbook on the History of European Banks, (Aldershot, 1994), p. 246; Erich Achterberg, Maximilian Müller-Jabusch, Lebensbilder deutscher Bankiers aus fünf Jahrhunderten, (Frankfurt, 1964), p. 208-210. Hubert Bonin, Le monde des banquiers français au XXe siècle, (2000), p. 43-44.Youssef Cassis, Capitals of capital (Cambridge, 2006), p. 50. Among all these authors, only H. Bonin gives all the right names of the founders.

13. Earlier studies are Hans M. Hirschfeld, Het ontstaan van het moderne bankwezen in Nederland, (Rotterdam, 1922); Hans M. Hirschfeld, De plannen van Dr. S. Sarphati voor de stichting eener Maatschappij voor Nederlandsche Volksvlijt in 1857 , Economisch-Historisch Jaarboek, 10, (The Hague, 1924); M. de Vries, Tien jaar geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche Bankwezen en de Nederlandsche Conjunctuur 1866-1876 (The Hague, 1921). For a later description see J. Kymmell, Geschiedenis van de algemene banken in Nederland 1860-1914, (Amsterdam, vol. I, 1992, vol. II, 1996).

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