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Agricultural and Commercial Bank - Bank of Ireland - Belfast Bank - Hibernian Bank - National Bank - Northern Bank - Provincial Bank - Ulster Bank

The Agricultural and Commercial Bank of Ireland

and its successors, The Southern Bank of Ireland and The Provident Bank of Ireland
1834–1839

Agricultural and Commercial Bank: Series A 1835 - Series B 1838
Southern Bank: Series A 1837
Provident Bank: Series A 1837


The Agricultural and Commercial Bank of Ireland

1834–1840


First proposed as the National Commercial Bank of Ireland, the Agricultural and Commercial Bank was founded by Thomas Mooney as a bank for farmers and smallholders. The bank opened its first branch in Nenagh on 1 November 1834. By 1839 it had 44 branches plus a non-branch head office in 4 College Green, Dublin. There was considerable rivalry between this bank and the National. The Agricultural issued two series of banknotes.

The bank was poorly organised, badly managed and incompetently run. It expanded too fast for its capabilities. It also opened branches in Ulster, a province already well served by strong banks which the Agricultural could not compete effectively against. However, its most critical shortcoming was its capital base. Unlike other Irish banks, one of its founding ideals had been that of an Irish bank for Ireland. Because of this it relied solely on Irish shareholders and had no English capital base to draw upon in times of crisis as did the other Irish banks. This was to prove fatal to the bank.

There was a run on the National and Agricultural banks in 1836 during a financial crisis at the time. Although the National fared well, some of the branches of the Agricultural stopped payment on its notes in November 1836 due to a lack of readily available cash. Although it had failed in liquidity, the bank was, nonetheless, solvent and it resumed payment on its notes on 23 January 1837.

Following continual difficulties in liquidity and much acrimony, the Agricultural and Commercial again suspended payment on 19 April 1840. The bank was not bailed out by the Bank of Ireland and it never resumed operations. Its debts were finally paid off by ca.1851.


The Provident Bank of Ireland

1837–1840


This bank was founded in Dublin by Thomas Mooney, founder of the former Agricultural and Commercial. Despite being in Dublin, the bank was able to issue banknotes as it had fewer than 6 shareholders. It was constituted in such a way that it could draw on funds from outside of its shareholder base.

The bank was intended as a farmers’ bank and only ever had one office. It failed to raise sufficient capital for its activities and ceased operations in December 1839, with its owners being adjudicated bankrupt on 14 October 1840. It appears that the vast bulk of its banknotes were paid off by April 1841.


The Southern Bank of Ireland

1837

Founded in Cork in March 1837 by some former officials of the Agricultural and Commercial. The Southern Bank lasted less than a year, and appears to have operated on the fringe of legality. It issued one series of banknotes, but had little in the way of funds to back them.




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