History of Banking

National Independence. In the Dominican Republic’s first constitution, on the 6th of November 1844, in the sixth ordinal of Article 94, among the functions of the National Congress were the following, “Acquire debts on National Credit”, “Order the creation of a national bank”, “Determine and standardize the value, weight, type and name of the currency, without it carrying the bust of any person. This measure was effectively a dead letter.

During the period known as “The First Republic” (1844 – 1861) a certain amount of progress was made in industrial and commercial sectors, and it was clear to see that various social institutions were flourishing, amongst which was the bank.

In 1844 Haitian currency was withdrawn, which had been in circulation across the whole island since 1822. But the emerging nation still did not have an official banking institution that could take legitimate action concerning the release of a Dominican currency. The Governing Central Military Junta assumed this right on the 29th of August 1844, and decreed “to produce and make immediately available bank notes of 5 pesos each, up to the amount of 100,000 pesos, which will be considered currency across the whole territory of the Republic”.  However these releases lacked support and were regulated by special decrees from the proceeding governments who used them for their own ends. This became before long the Dominican currency for goods, then depreciated and rejected by almost all Dominican citizens.

In 1856 the first Dominican sociologist, Pedro Francisco Bonó, submitted a motion to the Senate with the objective of “definitively regaining confidence in the obligations of the government” and proposed a project for a national bank, where the guarantee would be “the income of the government, savings funds and national properties, and its operations would be the same as those of any other bank”.

Thirteen years later, in the fourth administration of General Buenaventura Báez, was when steps were taken to create the first Dominican bank. This was granted in July 1869, to the North American citizens Edward Prime, Jr and Edward P. Hollister. The resolution stipulated that given “the great importance that it will have for the country’s commerce and industry, the creation of a issuing bank, importing capital from abroad, would stimulate material progress in the Republic” and full authorization was given to the two men mentioned above for the founding of an “ Exchange, Deposit Bank” etc., under the name of the “National Bank of Santa Domingo”, or any other name that they wished to use.

Source: Central Bank of the Dominican Republic