Frenkel O.I. —
The Branch Network of the State Bank of the Russian Empire in 1860s-1880s: Statistical and GIS Analysis
// Historical informatics. – 2017. – ¹ 1.
– P. 15 - 37.
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Review: The article studies the State Bank of the Russian Empire in its early period in 1860s – 1880s. The bank is studied as an example of government banks of the 17th-20th centuries that were gradually evolving into a full value central bank in the second half of the 19th century. The branch network statistics and gross loans in regions as well as the average loan rate calculation method are studied. Particular attention is paid to the following State Bank’s functions. Firstly, it is the key role in short terms credit system development in Russia or modern banking associated with commercial banks because the State Bank is the biggest commercial multibranch bank in the second half of the 19th century. Secondly, it is the credit function of the State Bank which aspects are loan (non-cash) issue, loans to private banks and the function of lender of last resort for banks as well as firms and companies that is characteristic of the period of central bank development. Thirdly, it is the State Bank’s core role within the frames of the developing national payment system. Fourthly, it is the public debt management, in particular, the State Bank’s role in placement of government securities with the help of credit instruments. These functions of the main commercial bank of the country had an important integrating impact on regional financial markets of the Russian Empire in the second half of the 19th century. In this article the State Bank’s functions are studied on the basis of statistical sources. The source for the State Bank’s statistics is annual reports which have not been systematically analyzed especially as far as regional aspect is concerned. Loan rate analysis techniques have not been tested for these data. That is why the article emphasizes source studies aspects of the State Bank’s regional statistics. GIS analysis is a special part of the paper. As far as regions are concerned, the branches of the early State Bank were located in the biggest financial centers (“anchor points” that provided for local financial markets’ development) as well as agricultural export zones in the central and southern parts of European Russia. As a result, new ways to study the early State Bank begin to take shape. These are integration of financial markets, specific character of bookkeeping at branches, difference between official and real loan rates.