The world "Bank" has been derived from the Italian world "Banca" meaning a branch or a counter. However, the banks that we are now accustomed to seeing no longer seem to be a reflection of what "Bank" really means. But today\'s banks are not what banks used to be in the past. It is just the transformation phases that the banking actually went through to attain the shape of present day banks.
Banking - The Evolution
This history of banking goes centuries bank to the ancient Mesopotamian age and in fact much prior to the invention of coinage. In those days Royal Palaces and Temples provided secure places for the safe keeping of grains and other commodities. Receipts given against deposits could be used for transfer not only to original depositors but also to third parties. Eventually d-Le to a great response, private parties also involved into these banking operations and laws regulating then were included in the code of Hammurabi.
A real banking transformation took place in Egypt where harvests were centralized in state warehouses. Written orders for the withdrawal of separate lots of grains by owners whose crops had been deposited there for safety and convenience or which had been compulsorily deposited to the credit of the king, soon became to be used as a more general method of payment of debts to other persons including tax gatherers, priests and traders.
However, banking went through an entire restructuring only after the introduction of coinage. It was only when coins had settled as a very good medium of exchange that banks started \'entering into money exchange business. The principal civilizations using coins at that time were the Greek, Chinese, Romans and those belonging to Asia minor particularly Lydia and lonia. Later coinage also spread into Persia. Bankers during this period started not only exchange of money but also its lending to finance the carriage of freight by ships. The richest and most famous of all the bankers at that time was Pasion, who started his banking career in 394 BC as a slave in the services of two leading Athenian Bankers and rose to eclipse his masters, gaining in this process not only his freedom but also Athenian Citizenship.
It was only in late second and third centuries BC that credit transfer also became a characteristic feature of a bank. This system was started by bank of Delos. As Delos was a barren offshore island, its inhabitants unlike Athenians made use of real credit receipts and payments made on simple instructions with accounts kept for each client.
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