T H E I N T E R-WA R Y E A R S

to German interests in Silesia. It made serious losses during the 1925 crisis, then subse- quently stagnated and in 1931 went into liquidation.

Paribas was also indirectly involved in the development of another Polish bank, Pow- szechny Bank Kredytowy. This bank had been founded in 1910 at Lvov on the initia- tive of a Viennese bank, Österreichische Länderbank, and a group of industrialists led by businessman and senator Wladyslaw Dlugosz (1864-1937). The bank was named Galicyjski Ludowy Bank dla Rolnictwa i Handlu (People s Bank of Galicia for Agricul- ture and Commerce). After the war, Paribas took control of Österreichische Länderbank (Austrian States Bank), re-locating its headquarters to Paris and renaming it Zentral- Europäische Länderbank/Banque des Pays de l Europe Centrale (Central European States Bank). Diplomat Jules Cambon, a future Paribas Chairman, became the bank s President. Its capital was now 60% held by French and the rest by Austrian interests. In 1919 the Polish subsidiary of the Central European States Bank, which had branches in Biel- sko-Biala, Borysław (now Boryslav, in Ukraine), Drohobycz (now Drohobich in Ukraine), Cracow and Warsaw, changed its name to Powszechny Bank Kredytowy. The bank con- fined itself essentially to short-term lending which enabled it to come through the 1925 crisis relatively unscathed. In 1926, the bank moved its HQ from Lvov to Warsaw. The depression of the 1930s led to losses, but did not threaten its survival. Between 1931 and 1933 deposits fell by 32%, and loans by 50%, and the bank did not pay out any divi- dends. Later on the situation improved and Powszechny Bank Kredytowy became one of the leading private banks in Poland.

Paribas Group industrial ventures in Poland

From then on Paribas took part in the wave of investments which made France the top investor in Poland in the inter-war years. The young Polish Republic suffered from a serious shortage of capital and despite the obvious desire of the Poles to keep control of their own economy, whole areas of Polish industry, including oil, electricity, steel, chemi- cals and wood, passed into foreign hands. By the end of the 1930s foreign company investment accounted for 43% of the total share capital of Polish joint stock companies across all sectors.

France and Belgium provided a major part of these investments. They were the top and third-largest sources of foreign investments with 26.2% and 13.3% respectively of the total capital. Alongside them were the United States with 18.6% and Germany with 13.3%.

In 1919, Paribas took a stake in the Société Varsovienne pour les Transports et la Navi- gation, a company founded in 1911 which specialised in transportation of goods on the Vistula river and its tributaries. Later on the bank set up, in conjunction with Worms & Cie, a shipping enterprise called the Compagnie Franco-Polonaise de Navigation, whose mission was to provide physical trade links between Poland and France.

LIST OD ZJEDNOCZONEGO WARSZAWSKIEGO TOWARZYSTWA

TRANSPORTU I ŻEGLUGI POLSKIEJ SA DO KOMENDANTA

GALLAUD PRZEDSTAWICIELA PARIBAS W POLSCE, 1926 R.

LETTER FROM THE S.A. DE VARSOVIE POUR LE TRANSPORT

ET LA NAVIGATION (ZEGLUGA) TO COMMANDANT GALLAUD,

REPRESENTATIVE OF PARIBAS IN POLAND, 1926

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