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Brief history of Ionian and Popular Bank

Ionian and Popular Bank of Greece 10-share stock certificate

In 1957 Emporiki Bank acquired the operations of Ionian Bank Ltd in Greece along with Popular Bank, which had absorbed the operations of Ionian Bank. These were the 2 components of the Ionian and Popular Bank of Greece, which became part of the Alpha Credit Bank Group in 1999. The Ionian and Popular Bank 10-share stock certificate from 1979 belongs to Alpha Bank’s collection of shares spanning the years 1960-1991.  

Ionian and Popular Bank paper stock certificate of 10 registered shares to the value of 1,700 drachmas, issued in 1979. 

The bank logo appears at the top part. 

The text appearing in the main frame includes the bank name and year of establishment, the successive share capital increases, the paid-up capital, the number of shares and the nominal price of each share, in Greek and English. 

The logo also appears as a watermark in an off-green background.  

A perfectly symmetrical geometric decorative pattern makes up the border wrapping the text. 

Acquisition and operations absorption 

In 1957 Emporiki Bank (Commercial Bank of Greece) acquired all the operations of Ionian Bank in Greece, after the latter had already acquired Popular Bank. 

Ionian and Popular Bank was subsequently created as Popular Bank absorbed Ionian Bank. 

Ionian and Popular Bank became the 3rd largest bank in Greece. When it started operating, the bank had a network of 24 branches. 

Expanding into new industries 

In 1960 the bank decided to finance the construction of the Athens Hilton Hotel. The project was completed in 1962 and the hotel operated as an Ionian and Popular Bank subsidiary under the name Ioniki Ionian Hotel Enterprises. 

In 1961 it joined Emporiki Bank in founding Phosphoric Fertilizers Industry SA. A year later the bank took part in joint ventures to found the Hellenic Juice and Canning Industry and Elefsis Shipyards. 

Under government supervision 

In the early 1970s the bank’s network consisted of 83 branches. 

In 1975, however, Ionian and Popular Bank was placed under government supervision. A government-appointed commissioner was appointed to control its operation. 

The bank tried to set new priorities and focus on industrial development. By 1978 a significant share of its loans was extended to the export industry. 

Same name, different identity 

The early 1980s saw the bank modernising its operations. In 1986 a decision was made to change its corporate identity. 

The name of the legal entity was preserved, and the corporate image was promoted using a minimal logo that simply consisted of the words “Ionian Bank” and a pattern inspired by Greek folk art. 

The change of corporate identity mainly affected the branches’ exterior and the design in bank documents. 

The bank’s presence in Greece and abroad  

In 1988 the bank appeared in the UK market by opening a representative office in the City of London. 

Around the same time Ionian Bank modernised its banking services by installing a network of ATMs and issuing the credit cards Ionokarta Visa and Artion Visa. 

Developing a group of undertakings 

The late 1980s saw a gradual loosening of the restrictions governing the Greek banking system until then. The bank was able to expand its presence in the financial sector by gradually creating its own group of undertakings. 

In 1993 Ionian Mutual Funds Management SA was established and the mutual funds “Ionian Revenue” and “Ionian Equities” were immediately launched into the market. 

Ionian Leasing SA also started operating in the same period, working with the bank network to promote its products. 

In 1995 Ionian Securities SA was established and the branch in Sofia, Bulgaria opened for business. 

A major privatisation 

On 26 March 1999 Alpha Credit Bank acquired Ionian Bank. Its absorption was completed in 2000.  

The resulting enlarged bank is present-day Alpha Bank. 

Ionian and Popular Bank’s collection of debt securities 

The Ionian and Popular Bank 10-share stock certificate from 1979 belongs to Alpha Bank’s collection of shares. 

Items in the collection date from 1960 to 1991. They hold significant historic value, as shares have been intangible since the beginning of the 21st century. 

Ionian and Popular Bank in our publications 

You can find more information on Ionian and Popular Bank of Greece in our publications: 

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