The 1836 British Guiana Bank now Republic Bank Ltd

THE 1836 BRITISH GUIANA BANK NOW REPUBLIC BANK LTD

THE 1836 BRITISH GUIANA BANK NOW REPUBLIC BANK LTD

By Dmitri Allicock

The history of commercial banking in Guyana originated in 1836 when British Guiana opened on November 11, in the capital city of Georgetown, the British Guiana Bank, a journey spanning 178 years of service with local ownership to foreign ownership then, full circle, to local ownership again. It was the first commercial bank owned by the private sector to start business in the colony of British Guiana, which had recently consolidated, in 1831, the three colonies of Essequibo, Berbice and Demerara into one entity.

Business commenced in Georgetown on February 16, 1837 and in New Amsterdam on March 06, 1837. Prior to this establishment the economy of the country was not conducive to banking as both external and internal trade was largely on a barter basis. Many products such as tobacco, sugar, coffee and rum, were used in exchange for other goods. Money was not yet accepted as a medium of exchange. 

In the plantation system of the colony prior to the abolition of slavery, there was little need for money. Food, shelter and clothing were provided by the plantation. The existence of the plantation also meant that there was little room for the development of a service or retail trade sector. Since there was no paid labor force on the plantation, there were no wages to be paid and transactions were mainly in kind.

Read more: THE 1836 BRITISH GUIANA BANK NOW REPUBLIC BANK LTD

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Comments

  • Clyde Duncan  On May 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Thank You, Dmitri – Very informative!

  • Dmitri Allicock  On May 29, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks Clyde!

  • ram singh  On June 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Very informative and excelent presentation. I love ferry boats but never knew that there were so many before my time. In fact I went to high school for four years and crossed on the ferry daily from New Road to Georgetown. Well Sone Dimitri!

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