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The absence of public exchange banks in medieval and early modern Flanders and Brabant (1400–1800): a historical anomaly to be explained


  • Aerts, Erik


The article aims to present an explanation for the complete absence of public municipal banks in the Southern Low Countries, and particularly in its two main principalities Flanders and Brabant, between 1400 and 1800. The reasons were complex, lying in a combination of the presence of adequate substitutes such as money changers, cashiers and town exchange offices ( stadswissels ) and countervailing factors (adverse economic conditions, insufficient financial resources, special interests of persons and lobbies). It is also argued that strong government control of the Antwerp urban debt prevented the local authorities from experimenting with a municipal bank.

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  • Aerts, Erik, 2011. "The absence of public exchange banks in medieval and early modern Flanders and Brabant (1400–1800): a historical anomaly to be explained," Financial History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 91-117, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:fihrev:v:18:y:2011:i:01:p:91-117_00

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