25th anniversary of Popular Bank
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives have preserved this front cover of the commemorative volume for Popular Bank’s 25th anniversary in 1931. The volume was published on the occasion of the event celebrating the bank’s 25th anniversary (1905-1930). It showcases the most important milestones in the bank’s history until then, and the progress of its operations. The publication also includes transcripts of speeches delivered on the day.
Front cover of a volume issued in 1931 to commemorate the 25th anniversary since the bank’s establishment.
The top part reads the bank’s name, while the centre reads “THE BANK’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY”. The text below reads the years during which the bank had been active (1905-1930).
A trying year for the economy
In early 1931 the global economy seemed to go through one of its worst years of recession. European banks had received a severe blow.
Greek banks certainly felt the impact. One by one, banks abroad suspended their credit. What is more, the drachma was no longer anchored in the British pound. This dire situation resulted in a massive run on Greek banks.
Popular Bank’s celebration event
In this unfavourable economic climate, Popular Bank attempted to maintain its prestige. In this context, the bank made a point of celebrating its 25th anniversary in 1931.
The event was held at the main hall of the bank’s headquarters. It was attended by representatives of all the productive forces of Greek economy.
The achievements of Popular Bank
One could say that the main event was the speech delivered by Popular Bank’s founder and General Manager Dionysios Loverdos. The General Manager proudly presented the bank’s accomplishments.
In the years 1905-1930, the bank made great progress in terms of operations, as it:
- Launched new banking services, such as loans with jewellery, gold, furniture etc. as collateral, prepayment of teachers’ salaries and pension cheques etc.
- Was granted the privilege of providing pawnbroker services by the Greek government, within just a few months of operation. Securing this privilege was one of the bank’s greatest achievements.
- Promoted the concept of savings among the working class.
A speech well received
The people attending the event could hardly disagree with the General Director.
Popular Bank’s very existence in the country’s economic life expressed in the best possible manner the social and economic changes occurring in Athens at the time. It also tried to educate the Greek capital’s developing lower and middle classes. Many of its new services were addressed to these very classes anyway.
Other speakers in the event expressed similarly favourable opinions. The speeches delivered by important politicians and entrepreneurs confirmed beyond doubt that Dionysios Loverdos’ efforts had amounted to something.
The volume commemorating Popular Bank’s 25th anniversary was published on the occasion of the event to celebrate the anniversary.
The first part is a brief overview of Popular Bank’s history until then. It showcases the most important milestones in the bank’s history, and the progress of its operations. The publication also includes transcripts of speeches delivered on the day.
Illustrations include photos of the bank’s headquarters and the Piraeus branch, 2 of the most imposing buildings erected in Athens during the Interwar period.
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