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Darmstadter Bank

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DARMSTADTER BANK, The. The Darmstadter Bank was established at Darm stadt in 1853 as the Bank fiir Handel und Industrie, but it is from 1856 that its important activities begin. Its initial authorized capital was 25,000,000 florins (say 42,750,000 marks), of which 10,000,000 florins were issued at first. While devoted to the general banking business, its policy has always aimed at main taining the liquidity of its resources and the avoidance as much as possible of long-term en gagements. The deposit business was not systematically encouraged, as the utilization of its own means was held to give greater stability to the institution and to its financial activities. In many respects its policy coincided with that of the A. Schaafhausen'scher Bank verein. Its charter was modeled after that of the Credit Mobilier, providing ((for the issue of such bank obligations as, secured indirectly by the newly created industrial enterprises, were to combine the scattered small capitalist forces in the launching of large enterprises." Up to a very recent period the Darmstadter Bank has been exclusively an institution for the promotion of industry, and relatively un important as a bank for the emission of state, communal, and railway securities. In the pro motion of industrial enterprises, largely through stock issues, the bank from the outset retained large blocks of the shares issued —a source of incidental financial losses more than counter balanced by the control given to the institution through board membership, in addition to actual dividends. In 1900 the bank decided to foster the deposit business, there being (1908) 31 deposit offices, of which 16 were in Berlin.

From its beginning certain operations were carried on abroad, particularly in Italy, Bel gium, and Austria-Hungary, joining with the Rothschilds and the Kreditanstalt in State and railway finance operations in the last named. Commandites, to promote foreign business re lations, were early established, but without uniform success, as being in advance of their time. As early as 1854 a commandite was formed at New York with the firm of G. vom Baur & Co., and in 1857 and 1867 in Paris and Vienna respectively. In 1908 the whole number of commandites was 4; branches, 7; establishments, 5; and agencies 5; all these in Germany. Through subsidiary banks or connections, the Darmstadter Bank has direct representation in The Netherlands, China, Japan, Italy, Belgium, London and Bulgaria; and through communities of interest, stock ownership, board representation, etc., either active or silent, this institution has connec tions with every portion of the German Em pire and every foreign land. Board repre sentation is maintained in 92 important in dustrial corporations, many interested in international trade. In 1909 the capital of the Darmstadter Bank was 154,000,000 marks; sur plus, 30,250,000 marks. The capital control of the Darmstadter Bank group amounted (in 1908) to 297,437,490 marks, of which 255,750,000 marks constitute the capital and 41,687,490 marks the surplus. Consult 'Die deutsche Grossbanken und ihre by Riesser, Dr. J. (1909) ; 'Germany's Economic Forces' (1913) ; 'Report on Co-operation in American Export Trade' (Washington 1916).