Banco de San Carlos (Spain)

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Banco de San Carlos (Spain)

Banco de San Carlos (Spain), the first national bank of Spain, established in 1782 in Madrid during the reign of Charles III. Its original purpose was to stabilize the credit of the government, servicing the state bonds called vales reales that had been issued to cover the expenses incurred by the monarchy in its European and American wars at the end of the eighteenth century. Although essentially a government bank, the Banco de San Carlos was privately owned. Among its stockholders were Spanish capitalists, French rentiers, and, surprisingly, a large group of Indian community treasuries of Mexico. The bank continued to provide financial services to the Spanish government during the Napoleonic Wars and most of the reign of Ferdinand VII (1814–1833), but in 1828 it was restructured and became the Banco de San Fernando. Today it is known as the Banco de España.

See alsoBanking: Overview .


Earl Hamilton, "Plans for a National Bank in Spain, 1701–1783," in Journal of Political Economy 58, no. 3 (1949): 315-336.

Pedro Tedde, El Banco de San Carlos (1782–1829) (1988).

Additional Bibliography

Calderón Quijano, José Antonio. El Banco de San Carlos y las comunidades de indios de Nueva España. Sevilla: Banco de España, Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1963.

Tedde, Pedro, and Carlos Marichal. La Formación de los bancos centrales en España y América Latina (siglos XIX y XX). 2 vols. Madrid: Banco de España, Servicio de Estudios, 1994.

                                      Carlos Marichal

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Banco de San Carlos (Spain)

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