State Bank of Albania, 1945 - 1992
After the National Liberation War (WWII) in 1944, the new government started the nationalisation process. On 13 January 1945, a law was approved abrogating the convention of the National Bank of Albania. On the same date, the organic law on the State Bank of Albania was approved. The bank was established as a key financial institution for Albania.
In 1945, the State Bank of Albania started the issuing activity and the credit operations. The law decree No. 445, of 07.07.1947 "On withdrawing from circulation the franc banknotes and the new issue", stipulated that the new domestic currency is the Albanian lek, replacing the old franc.
From February 1946 until end 1990, the State Bank of Albania sustained the development of the socialist economy. Throughout this period, only a limited number of banks operated in the country. The main feature of that period was the extreme centralisation of this system by the state. As a central bank, the currency issue was the primary role of the State Bank of Albania. It collected temporarily free and unused assets and extended short and long-term credit to state-run enterprises, agricultural cooperatives and some households. In addition, it served as the unique cash desk, maintained the income and expenditure accounts, stored forex reserves of the state, conducted transactions on behalf of the state with other countries and foreign banks.
* Banknotes issued by the State Bank of Albania. Photo of the General Directory of the Bank in Tirana, its branch in Kukės and the original picture used for the realisation of the banknote with denomination 500 Lekė. Taken by the photography fund available in the Albanian Telegraph Agency. The banknote depicts the portrait of a work woman during a usual working day sowing the field with wheat.