Founded in 1863, it was aimed at promotion of industry. After the German Anschluss of Czechoslovakia and the creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia-Moravia, the bank was confiscated by the German state and partially attached to Dresdner Bank. During World War II the bank, headed by Rudolf Reiner, was one of the institutions participating in the so-called Reinhardt's fund (the jewels, silver and gold confiscated from the concentration camp inmates). It also financed construction of some of the concentration camps through commercial credits to the SS and its subsidiary DEST company. After the Prague Uprising the main seat of the bank in Prague has become the headquarters of the Social Democratic Party.