what happened during the bank s existence is therefore possible. The economic conditions in the Netherlands under which the NCDB had to start its operations were not very favourable. The year 1863 had seen an explosion of new issues. This was mainly the result of the creation of some large financial institutions, which had adopted the legal form of a limited company (N.V.). Then, rising interest rates and a lack of new ventures depressed the new issue market, which came practically to a standstill during the financial crisis of 1866. Moreover, there was a more structural problem. The financial needs of Dutch trade and industry were insufficient with respect to the ample financial means of these various new banks. Railway construction in the Netherlands, which in other countries often absorbed large amounts of capital, had been undertaken by the state. These infrastructure investments were financed from current state revenue, mainly from the proceeds of the sale of colonial products from the Dutch Indies.
Only one venture was launched by the NCDB, the creation in 1864 of the colonial bank, the Surinaamsche Bank32. In the share capital of NLG 1,000,000 the NCDB had a participation of 20 percent which was to be placed later with the public. As the interest in this issue was not very high, the bank was forced to keep most of these shares in its own portfolio. According to the annual report, still more than 15 percent of the Surinaamsche Bank shares were on its books in 1870. In addition, the NCDB also supported Sarphati by subscribing to shares and bonds of Nationale Hypotheekbank and the Nationale Bouwmaatschappij33. However, these participations had disappeared from the balance sheet within a few years.
The slow development of operations in The Netherlands can also be illustrated by the progress of its deposit base. At a very early stage, the bank introduced the interest bearing deposit cash account. This innovative product was regularly advertised in the financial press, and a novelty was that interest rates were published as well. Regardless of these marketing efforts, this type of account did not really get off the ground. After one year, no more than NLG 180,000 was placed with the bank on a balance sheet total of about NLG 16,000,000. Over the years this item would disappear from the balance sheet.
Another service was the safe keeping of securities for clients combined with the collection of interest and dividends and the trading of securities on behalf of the client. This again was an innovation. Although safe custody had been introduced a little bit earlier by some other banks, this new form of modern custody of the NCDB was so far unknown. It is not clear whether this attracted much interest. Nevertheless, other banks would only follow with this type of service after 189034.
32. Became Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij, then Algemene Bank Nederland and finally ABN AMRO Bank. In 1977 the bank retained a minority position of 49%. Since 2001 De Surinaamse Bank (DSB) is for hundred percent controlled by Surinam interests.
33. In 1864, the bank bought bonds of the Nationale Hypotheekbank. At the end of the same year, when the Nederlandsche Bouwmaatschappij was launched, the NCDB either subscribed to the new shares or alternatively bought shares on the stock exchange.
34. Notice in the Amsterdamsch Effectenblad, 26th June 1863. Concerning the other banks, P.A. Geljon, Geschiedenis, volume III, pp. 423-25.
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