London & Brazilian Bank records

Scope and Content

Records of the establishment and operation of the bank and its amalgamation with London & River Plate Bank. Also included are the records of Anglo Brazilian Commercial and Agency Co. Ltd. and Brazilian Trust and Loan Corporation.

Administrative / Biographical History

This bank was established in 1862 with the first branch opening in Rio de Janeiro in February 1863. Shortly afterwards branches were established in Bahia and Pernambuco and the Anglo-Portuguese Bank which had branches in Lisbon and Oporto was taken over.

In 1864 a severe monetary crisis in Brazil, followed in 1866 by the repercussions of the Overend Gurney crisis in London, hit the fortunes of the new bank. A run on the bank in May 1866 resulted in the Rio branch being drained of over a million pounds within fifteen days. The bank only just survived. Head Office in London shipped gold to Rio as fast as possible. To obtain further funds the manager in Rio sold drafts to London to the value of £200,000. These events led eventually in 1871 to the bank being reorganised. The fortunes of the bank changed and by 1880 it was the leading foreign bank in Brazil with a wide network of branches from Manaus on the Amazon and Para and Maranhao on the northern coast to Porto Alegre, Pelotas and Rio Grande do Sul in the south.

The bank and the London and River Plate Bank operated as friendly rivals for many years, sharing a similar tradition and outlook. In 1923 Lloyds brought about their amalgamation, the new name chosen was Bank of London & South America Limited (BOLSA). By this point, the London & Brazil Bank had offices in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Montevideo, Manchester, Paris, New York and several in Portugal.

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