Colonial Banks

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Colonial Banks


banks of imperialist states that had a predominant position in colonial and dependent countries. They were used by the finance capital of the mother countries to enslave and exploit the peoples of colonial countries. The colonial banks were either subsidiaries of large banks of imperialist countries or special credit institutions of foreign states in colonial and dependent countries. Before World War II, Great Britain had 41 colonial banks with 6,500 branches, and France had 40 colonial banks with 708 branches.

By issuing loans to colonies, colonial banks expanded the export of capital and helped to rob colonial peoples. In crediting trade between the mother countries and the colonies, the banks assisted the imperialist bourgeoisie to extort scarce raw materials at a low price from dependent countries and to expand the export of high-priced industrial goods from the mother countries. The disintegration of the imperialist colonial system after World War II undermined the position of the colonial banks.

Imperialism is attempting to adapt the colonial banks to the new situation. Neocolonialism in the banking sphere is manifested as imperialist interference in the efforts to create national credit systems in the young states. In the 1960’s, most colonial banks were reorganized. Bank associations based on the colonial banks were created under a national label. A modernized model of a colonial bank is the Central Bank of the West African States, founded in 1962, in which France has retained a position of control. France appoints one-third of the board of directors, and the bank’s capital is formed through the subsidies of the French treasury. Some international banks also act as colonial banks. For example, the Inter-American Development Bank (founded in 1959) is in fact a US bank using international capital to promote expansion of US monopolies in Latin American countries. The modernized colonial banks support proimperialist puppet regimes and oppose the governments that are struggling to develop along noncapitalist lines.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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