Exploring modern bank penetration: evidence from early twentieth-century Netherlands

Joost Jonker, oscar gelderblom, amaury de vicq, ruben peeters

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


We analyse the estate composition of the richest 30 per
cent of people who died in the Netherlands in 1921 to find
that households used a broad range of institutions to meet
their financial demands. Goods and services were either
paid in cash or settled periodically with suppliers. Despite
the strong growth of commercial banking in the previous
decades, households still made extensive use of peer-topeer loans, with or without the added security of notarial
contracts. Banks only possessed a competitive edge in savings accounts for small surpluses and current accounts, the
latter used most frequently by business owners born after
1870. Distance to the nearest bank office did not matter for
these people, but wealthy urbanites were more inclined to
use banks than their counterparts in the countryside.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages26
JournalThe Economic history review
Publication statusPublished - 03 Dec 2022


  • banking, credit, the Netherlands, twentieth century


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