Tag: Société Générale de Belgique

Centenary of the Great War: the National Bank in wartime

This edition of ‘Spotlight’ describes what happened to the National Bank during the Great War.

The royal portrait in our wallet

Royalty are the only Belgians to have been honoured by being depicted on a coin or banknote during their lifetime, so it is high time we took a close look at the royal portrait in this edition of ‘Spotlight’.

The National Bank has had 21 governors

The person in charge of the National Bank of Belgium is called the governor. Room 1 in the museum comprises the former governor’s office, which was in use until 1953. Since the Bank was set up in 1850, 21 men have held the post of governor, and have made their mark on this institution (some more so than others). This month, the Spotlight focuses on this high office at the Bank and the men who have held it.

Herman Richir (1866-1942): a painter for the National Bank of Belgium

Last month, the Bank’s art collection acquired a new canvas signed in the name of Herman Richir (1866-1942).

The oldest Belgian paper money (1837-1850)

In 1830 Belgium was the most industrialised country on the continent. In the period 1830-1848 a very small number of banks financed the Belgian industrial revolution. Each of them had the right to issue paper money.

An unusual postcard

We present you a postcard depicting one of Belgium’s former finance ministers: Camille Gutt (1884-1971). Many people still remember him on account of the post World War II currency reform with which his name is linked: the Gutt operation. But that was not the only remarkable achievement in his long and full career.

The cradle of the European banknote stood in … Sweden

In 1654 Christina, the young Swedish queen, caused upheaval when she abdicated and became a convert to the Roman-Catholic faith. Her extravagancy and the recently ended Thirty years’ war (1618-1648) had left her country with enormous debts. To make financial matters worse, her successor and cousin, Charles X Gustavus, continued warfare with Poland and Denmark. These lasting conflicts were a serious threat to the economy and caused a depreciation of the copper plate money or kopparplätmynt.