Ottoman Bank

Former bank in the Ottoman Empire, then Turkey / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Ottoman Bank (Turkish: Osmanlı Bankası), known from 1863 to 1925 as the Imperial Ottoman Bank (French: Banque Impériale Ottomane, Ottoman Turkish: بانق عثمانی شاهانه[3]) and correspondingly referred to by its French acronym BIO, was a bank that played a major role in the financial history of the Ottoman Empire. By the early 20th century, it was the dominant bank in the Ottoman Empire, and one of the largest in the world.[4]:590[5]

Bankalar Caddesi 11, the bank's headquarters in Constantinople, then Istanbul from 1892 to 1999
7, rue Meyerbeer, the bank's Paris office from 1870 to 1975
26 Throgmorton Street (center), designed by architect William Burnet,[1] the London seat of the Ottoman Bank from 1872 to 1947[2]

It was founded in 1856 as a British institution chartered in London, and reorganized in 1863 as a French-British venture with head office in Constantinople, on a principle of strict equality between British and French stakeholders. It soon became dominated by French interests, however, primarily because of the greater success of its offerings among French savers than British ones. In its early years, the BIO was principally a lender to the Ottoman government with a monopoly on banknote issuance and other public-interest roles, including all treasury operations of the Ottoman state under an agreement ratified in February 1875 that was however never fully implemented. In the 1890s, it pivoted to a greater emphasis on commercial and investment banking, which it developed with lasting success despite a serious crisis in 1895.

Following World War I, the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (known since the 1980s as Paribas) took control of the BIO, and renamed it Ottoman Bank in 1925. The bank's remaining public-interest privileges and monopolies were phased out. Its operations outside Turkey were gradually dismantled, a process that was completed in 1975. The Ottoman Bank became Turkish-owned when Garanti Bank purchased it from Paribas in 1996, and was eventually subsumed in 2001 into the Garanti Bank operations and corporate identity, in turn rebranded Garanti BBVA in 2019.