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National Bank of Albania, 1925 - 1945

 

 

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After the reconfirmation of Albania’s Independence in international acts in 1921, the re-establishment of a national bank was discussed at length, being materialised under the agreement concluded between the Government of Albania, represented by Mufid Libohova and an Italian financial group, represented by Mario Alberti. The head offices of the Banka Kombëtare e Shqipnis (National Bank of Albania) were in Durrës, whereas the Administrative Committee had its seat in Rome.  This bank was established on 2 September 1925, and in February 1926 put in circulation the first Albanian national currency, gold franc, along with its divisions.

 In addition to issuing, it operated as a bank of credit. For about 10 years, it operated under monopoly conditions, whereas as of 1938 it found itself in strong competition with the Bank of Napoli branch in Albania. At the inauguration ceremony of the building of the “Banka e Shqipnis” (Bank of Albania) in Tirana, in 1938, the director, Antonio Moscheti, said:  “The new building, an excellent piece of work by architect Prof. Morpurgo and his collaborators, with its outstanding artistic and elegant design, is a synthesis of the solid and stable structure such as the National Bank of Albania”.

Under the economic and customs convention of April 1939, immediately after the fascist invasion of Albania, the National Bank was able to make essential changes to its monetary policy.  A specific feature of this period was the shift from deflationary policy to inflationary policy.  It was also active in the area of crediting. Facing strong competition from the Bank of Napoli and National Labour Bank, it expanded crediting, hence maintaining its dominant position in the Albanian market.

 

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* View of the National Bank of Albania, 1938. Project by Italian Architect Vittorio Ballio Morpurgo.

100 Gold Franc, issued in 1926.  Photo of the President of the Republic of Albania, Ahmet Zogu, used by Zecca di Roma to sculpture this currency. Taken from the photos fund available at the General Directory of Archives.

 

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