Financial Stability
09 December 2019

The Early Years of Banking in Malta

Central Bank of Malta Public Lecture

Dr John Consiglio
Lecturer - Faculty of Economics, Management & Accountancy, University of Malta
Author of a number of books on Malta’s banking history and the history of banking in the Mediterranean

The Early Years of Banking in Malta

What was banking like in its early years in Malta?
Since when have we had banks in Malta?
Which were the country’s first banks?
What was banking like in those times?

What do a 19th century firm of tailors called Buckley and Falzon and the James Bell shipping agency – the precursor to Thos. Smith and Co. – have in common? They both used to provide banking services in Malta, at a time when these services were not nearly as strictly regulated, and when people and companies would offer everything from loans to foreign currency exchange, all in the absence of ‘proper’ banks.

These fascinating facts are just a few of the insights that will emerge from a public lecture on the early years of banks in Malta by banking historian John Consiglio being organised by the Central Bank of Malta.

Dr Consiglio has written a number of books and articles on Malta’s banking history and the history of banking in the Mediterranean. His 2006 book on the history of banking in Malta remains the only comprehensive historical record so far on the topic.

Over the decades, his research has unearthed myriad details found in everything from official records to documents found in attics.  Recently it was interesting to see that even an American antiquarian had laid his hands on a copy of the original Statute and List of founder shareholders (over 80 with mostly British names) of the first official bank in Malta – the Anglo-Maltese Bank – which was set up in 1809. 

His lecture will cover hundreds of years of banking in Malta from the times of the Order of St John to the banks which in the early 1900s became the forerunners of today’s national institutional structure.

His talk will define and describe early banking in Malta from the times of the Order of St John up to the early times of those banks which in the early 1900s became the forerunners of today’s national institutional structure.

The event is open to the general public, however registration is required on [email protected].

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