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Lot 427: BANQUE DE BELGIQUE
29 October 2016
Brussels, BelgiumLive Auction
Description: 1835 BRUXELLES. 3,6% Obligation de F1000, unissued. blue. The bank was founded in 1835 by Charles de Brouckère, a revolutionary and later mayor of Brussels. The bank was set up as a counterpart of the "Société générale de Belgique (Generale)", still considered as being under Dutch influence. Together with theGenerale, it contributed a lot to the industrial development during the period 1832-1848: the first Belgian multinational, the zinc factory Vieille Montagne, was set up thanks to the bank's financial support which heavily invested in the steel industry,railways, glass and real estate. Those long term investments were financed by the issue of paper money (until 1850). Due to this liquidity gap the Banque de Belgique suffered a lot from crashes on the stock market. In 1839 there was a first bank run, when the bank lost a major part of its assets to the Netherlands. The bank was saved by a government loan, but in 1848 a new crash occurred. This time, the Belgian government decided to set up a central bank which would hold the monopoly of the issue of money, while an investment bank like Banque de Belgique could focus on industrial investments. In 1876 the bank was hurt twice. First, it lost 23,8 million francs due to speculation of an employee with the clients' money (sounds familiar...), and later that year it lost again 8 million francs due to a failed raid on the "Credit MobilierFrançais". Therefore, the bank was forced to liquidate itself in 1876. A bank with the same name was founded in 1881 (of which a little scripophily has been seen), but was not related to this most important early bank. Surprisingly, as far as our records go, this is the one and only piece of scripophily which has ever been discovered of the original Banque de Belgique. Unique piece from an old collection. Rarity 12.
Condition Report: EF