Bank of Athens

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Historically, there have been two Greek banks with the name Bank of Athens, both of which were headquartered in Athens, Greece. The first was founded in 1893 and operated in the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean until its acquisition by the National Bank of Greece in 1953. The second Bank of Athens was founded in 1993 and merged with Eurobank Ergasias in 1999. Additionally, numerous banks in the United States of America have incorporated Bank of Athens into their name.

First Bank of Athens (1894–1962)[edit]

In 1893, Ep. Empeirikos, Al. Lambrinoudis, A. Kallergis, M. Iordanopoulos, and N. Triantafyllidis founded the Bank of Athens with Greek, French, and English capital. It began operating in 1894.[1]

A key figure in the early bank was Jean (John) Pesmatzoglou, an Alexandrian private banker who merged his bank with the Bank of Athens. He became the bank's chairman in 1896 and formed an alliance with Banque de l'Union parisienne in 1904.[2] Pesmatzoglou's bank became Bank of Athens's branch in Alexandria, Egypt, where there was a large Greek community. In 1895, the Bank established branches in London, Constantinople, Smyrna, and Khartoum, in Sudan. In 1902, a second UK branch was established Manchester.

In 1906, the bank acquired Industrial Credit Bank (Τράπεζα Επαγγελματικής Πίστεως; est. 1873 in Athens) whose Istanbul branch (opened in 1905) was transferred to Bank of Athens ownership. It may also have had a branch in Smyrna.[3] By 1910 the Bank added branches in Crete at Chania, Candia, and Rethymno, and Trebizond and Samsoun in the Ottoman Empire.[4]

In 1921, the bank opened a representative office in New York, that was later converted to an agency. By 1922, there were branches throughout Greece, as well as in Limassol and Nicosia in Cyprus, Alexandria, Cairo, and Port Said in Egypt, Galata, Stamboul and Pera in Constantinople, Adrianopolis in "the former Turkey in Europe", and London and Manchester in England.[5] The next year, following the Greco-Turkish War, the government of Turkey seized the Bank's branch in Constantinople. It is not clear whether the Bank of Athens had already closed its other branches in Constantinople, or the one in Adrianopolis, which had reverted to Turkish control, or whether the government seized these too.

In 1926, its New York agency was converted to a subsidiary; the Bank of Athens Trust Company.

In 1930, the National Bank of Greece and the Bank of Athens combined their activities in Egypt into a joint subsidiary: Banque Nationale de Grèce et d’Athénes. (In 1960, Egypt nationalized the remaining foreign banks in the country; National Bank of Egypt took over Banque Nationale de Grèce et d’Athénes, together with a number of other banks). The 1930s also saw the Bank of Athens operating branches in Korçë and Durrës in Albania. However, with the onset of World War II, Greece came under Axis control. During the Axis Occupation of Greece, Dresdner Bank assumed oversight of Bank of Athens.

After the war, in 1947 the Bank of Athens founded the South African Bank of Athens to serve Hellenes residing in South Africa. This bank continues to operate as a subsidiary of National Bank of Greece.[6]

In 1953, Bank of Athens merged with National Bank of Greece to form the National Bank of Greece and Athens. Later the name reverted to the National Bank of Greece. The two banks merged their NY subsidiaries to form Atlantic Bank of New York.

View of what was once the banking hall of the Salonika branch of the Bank of Athens

Since 1962 NBG has used the former headquarters of the Bank of Athens at Stadiou Street as its main public office. NBG then closed the banking facilities at its headquarters on Aiolou Street. The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki now occupies the Bank of Athens's former building in Salonika.

Second Bank of Athens (1992–1999)[edit]

In 1992, the National Bank of Greece owned 75% of the Credit Bank of Professionals (Τράπεζα Επαγγελματικής Πίστεως, founded in 1906), when it sold 67% to Hanwha Bank (with Rabobank). The Bank was renamed to Bank of Athens. In 1998, Eurobank Ergasias, a member of the Latsis Group, bought 58% of the Bank of Athens' common stock from Hanwha Bank and 51% of its preference shares from the National Bank of Greece. The next year EFG Eurobank Ergasias absorbed Bank of Athens, as well as Bank of Crete.

United States banks with Bank of Athens in their name[edit]

In addition to these two banks (and their subsidiaries), several banks in the United States of America have used the name Bank of Athens.

  • The First National Bank of Athens, Alabama, held Charter #6146.
  • Bank of Athens, Clarke County, Georgia. A bank by this name opened in 1856. A more recent bank by this name is a subsidiary of Georgia Bank & Trust, which in turn is a subsidiary of Synovus, the former SunTrust Bank. This Bank of Athens may have been the result of the merger between First Bank of Athens and First National Bank of Athens.
  • The First National Bank of Athens, of Athens County, Ohio, received charter number 233 in 1864. It continued operating until 1917.
  • First National Bank of Athens, Pennsylvania, in 1863 received the first national bank charter.
  • The First National Bank of Athens, Texas, was absorbed by Franklin Bank Corp in 2005. At the time, First National Bank of Athens had four branches and some US$218 million in assets. The Federal Deposit Insurance Company closed Franklin Bank Corp. in 2008; Prosperity Bank of El Campo, Texas, acquired the liabilities of Franklin Bank Corp.
  • First National Bank of Athens, Tennessee.

The First National Bank of Athens FDIC 2114/1866 arrived in Europe from the USA and was merged with a small British private bank to form the Gunners Bishop Bank of Athens that operated as a British bank in the City of London (Fenchurch Street, London EC3).The Bank was awarded the position of the representative bank of Greece from 1860 onward. An Act of the British Parliament dated 1906 (concerning born of World Trade Center in the City of London) regulated legal statute of the industrial and National State Banks invited in Great Britain, which statute was regulated by this Act.The Bank of Athens had been received Statute as British Bank after the British Parliament invited industrial banks from all over the World in the City of London and given to them formal statute as British Banks, when was established the World Trade Center in the City of London/GB.Via same year the Bank of Athens was absorbed by the International Credit Industry Banque de Grece- Banque D Áthenes-France her international banque branch for Europe FDIC 2114/1866.See/British Banking Almanac since 1935 year-for the Bank of Athens see international banque-Banque D Athenes/.The Bank of Athens/Banque D'Áthenes FDIC 2114/1866 was registered in Inland Revenue Office as London Bankers via -1908 year,and operated with British Government Business.The Bank of Athens operated as international Banque D Áthenes,since 1906 year. Banque D Athenes was merged with Banque Nationale de Grece -France via 1930 year,under the name Banque Nationale de Grece and D Áthenes-France.

Since the year 1932, the international Banque D Áthenes moved her Branches and Head office in London-Fenchurch str.EC-3.The Banque opened branch in Constantinople-Karakkoy since 1906, when the Banque D'Athenes worked with French Treasury-Basel-II with Bourse de Paris/Constantinople!The Bank of Athens FDIC 2114/1866 was merged with her international Branch for Greece-National Bank of Greece-1841. It was on 27.02.1953 with Decision of the Kingdom of Greece. The Gunners Bishop Bank -The last small private bank, which had been given the British statute for the Bank of Athens FDIC 2114/1866 was merged with the Barclays Bank PLC-Lombard str. London/UK, when were formed the Big Fives Banks in UK.Via the year 1956 the First National Bank of Athens FDIC 2114/1866 arrived in the USA at home! Via 14.11.2002 desisted from the Board of the Governors of the National Bank of Greece-Central Branch -Banque Nationale de Grece-Greece,was merged with her French Branch in France- Banque Nationale de Grece and D Áthenes-France merged before that with the Banque D Áthens via the year 1930. After 5 years the name was Banque Nationale de Grece-France only. This Merged was wrote via the year 2002 in ASE. See messages /ASE/Greece for: 2002 and 2003 year. In fact, it was Banque D Áthenes-international credit industry banque de grece of the Bank of Athens FDIC 2114/1866 year.All of mentioned from me banks and banques were American original Banks-National Association/USA!This is a part of the true!


  1. ^ Gelina Harlaftis, 1996, A History of Greek-Owned Shipping; The Making of an International Tramp Fleet, 1830 to the Present Day, (Routledge), p.133.
  2. ^ Phillip L. Cottrell, 2008, "A Survey of European Investment in Turkey, 1859-1914; Banks and the Finance of the State and Railway Construction", in Philip A. Cottrell ed., and Iain L. Fraser and Monika Pohl Fraser, co-eds., East Meets West - Banking, Commerce and Investment in the Ottoman Empire, (Ashgate, for the European Association for Bank History).
  3. ^ Necla Geyikdagi, V. (2011) Foreign Investment in the Ottoman Empire: International Trade and Relations 1854-1914, (I.B.Tauris); p.103.
  4. ^ United States Bureau of Manufactures, United States Bureau of Foreign Commerce (1854-1903), Monthly Consular and Trade Reports, January 1910, no. 352, p. 189.
  5. ^ International Banking Directory, 1922
  6. ^ South African Bank of Athens