History of Banking in India
There are three different phases in the history of banking in India.
- Pre-Nationalization Era.
- Nationalization Stage.
- Post Liberalization Era.
In India the business of banking and credit was practices even in very early times. The remittance of money through Hundies, an indigenous credit instrument, was very popular. The hundies were issued by bankers known as Shroffs, Sahukars, Shahus or Mahajans in different parts of the country. The modern type of banking, however, was developed by the Agency Houses of Calcutta and Bombay after the establishment of Rule by the East India Company in 18th and 19th centuries.
During the early part of the 19th Century, ht volume of foreign trade was relatively small. Later on as the trade expanded, the need for banks of the European type was felt and the government of the East India Company took interest in having its own bank. The government of Bengal took the initiative and the first presidency bank, the Bank of Calcutta (Bank of Bengal) was established in 180. In 1840, the Bank of Bombay and IN 1843, the Bank of Madras was also set up.
Banking Services in India
These three banks also known as “Presidency Bank”. The Presidency Banks had their branches in important trading centers but mostly lacked in uniformity in their operational policies. In 1899, the Government proposed to amalgamate these three banks in to one so that it could also function as a Central Bank, but the Presidency Banks did not favor the idea. However, the conditions obtaining during world war period (1914-1918) emphasized the need for a unified banking institution, as a result of which the Imperial Bank was set up in1921. The Imperial Bank of India acted like a Central bank and as a banker for other banks.