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El Banco Mercantil Mexicano

Faced with the prerogatives granted to the Banco Nacional Mexicano a group of Spanish-born businessman who controlled much of the wholesale textiles, tobacco and grocery business in Mexico City, led by Manuel Ibañez, convened a meeting on 29 August 1881, to consider establishing a national bank that would compete with the Banco Nacional Mexicano. The ensuing bank was authorised[text needed] by federal charter on 3 December 1881 and began operations on 27 March 1882The Two Republics, 30 March 1882. In the first few days various people had changed sizeable sums of hard cash for banknotesLa Voz de México, 2 April 1882.

The bank's notes were accepted in payment of federal taxes, in federal offices, and in payment of local taxes, in the states of Puebla, Oaxaca, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Veracruz, Guanajuato, México, Zacatecas and Durango, according to decrees of their legislatures.

It merged with the Banco Nacional Mexicano to become the Banco Nacional de México in 1884.

American Bank Note Company print runs

The American Bank Note Company produced the following notes. They produced a special vignette of a statue of Columbus (C 139).

Mercantil Mexicano 1 A specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 1 A 88225 reverse

Mercantil Mexicano 5 A specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 5 A 102848 reverse

Mercantil Mexicano 10 A specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 10 A specimen reverse

Mercantil Mexicano 20 A specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 20 A specimen reverse

Mercantil Mexicano 100 specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 500 specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 1000 specimen

The 1881 print states 'pagará en la Ciudad de México' but this was changed for the 1882 run to 'pagará en la Ciudad de _______' so that the notes could be issued by the branches.

Mercantil Mexicano 10 A 102097

Mercantil Mexicano 20 specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 50 A specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 50 A specimen reverse

Mercantil Mexicano 100 A specimen

Mercantil Mexicano 100 A specimen reverse

Date Value Number Series from to Comment
November 1881 $1 10,000  A 1 10000 with 'pagará en la Ciudad de México'
$5 100,000 A 1 100000
$10 100,000 A 1 100000
$20 75,000 A 1 75000
$50 35,000  A 1 35000
$100 30,000  A 1 30000
$500 3,000 A 1 3000
$1000 2,740 A 1 2740


Date Value Number Series from to Comment
February 1882 $5 30,000 A 100001 130000 with 'pagará en la Ciudad de ______'
$10 30,000 A 100001 130000
$20 25,000 A 75001 100000
$50 11,000 A 35001 46000
$100 10,000 A 30001 40000
$500 1,000 A 3001 4000


Date Value Number Series from to Comment
June 1882 $1 25,000 A 10001 35000 with 'pagará en la Ciudad de México' 
$1 12,500 A 35001 47500 with 'pagará en la Ciudad de ______' 


The ABNC reprinted one $1,000 note (A 1501) in April 1882 to replace a missing banknote at the bank's request. The original was then presented, untrimmed and with forged signatures, to the bank and the person arrested. It was thought to have been stolen in the Veracruz Customs HouseABNC letter F. G. Mead, agent, Mexico City to ABNC, 12 May 1884.


Presidente de Consejo

José Gargollo was a Spaniard, a director of Diligencias Generales and member of the Convención Española. sig Gargolio
Bénito Arena Bermejillo  

Genaro de la Fuente

Genaro de la Fuente was director of the Negociación Minera de Sauceda in Zacatecas La Iberia, 17 April 1874.



Ramón Usandizaga  sig Usandizaga



José V. de Collado was born in Santander, Spain on 14 February 1831. As a young man he went to Mexico with his wife and two sons. He was a shareholder and manager of the Casa de Diligencias, then Director of the Banco Mercantil Mexicano, and finally director of the Banco Nacional de México for eleven years. He then was involved in various businesses, principally in agriculture. As well as a consejero of the Banco Nacional de México, he was a consejero of Buen Tono, the Compañía de Seguros “La Mexicana”, of the Banco Hipotecario and of various mining companies.

As a philanthropist Collardo was a founder of the Asilo de Mendigos in 1879, was an active member of the Conferencia de San Vicente de Paul and various Catholic societies and was president of the Casino Española and the Beneficencia Española. Apparently he was probably the only landlord in Mexico City who never raised his rents.

He became ill in January 1901 and died of pneumonia on 21 November 1901Semanario Literario Ilustrado de “El Tiempo”, Tomo I, Núm. 49, 2 December 1901.

sig Collado


The bank opened branches in various states, having made agreements that gave it favourable tax treatment and regulated the use of its notes within the state. These notes had the name of the branch handwritten in  and also had a more visible overprint.


The state executive agreed a contract with Toribio Bracho, representing the bank, on 31 March 1882 La Voz de Mexico, 27 October 1882 and it was expected to open at the end of the yearEl Siglo Diez y Nueve, 30 October 1882.


Mercantil Mexicano 20 A 75432

The state government agreed a contract with the bank on 10 February 1882El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 13 May 1882 and the branch opened on 1 November 1882.


In November 1881 it was reported that the bank would open a branch in LeónEl Siglo Diez y Nueve, 28 November 1881; El Diario del Hogar, 1 December 1881.


On 2 August 1882, Francisco Ogarrio, representing the state of Yucatán, and José V. Collado, for the bank, agreed a contract to open a branch in Yucatán. The contract allowed the bank  to issue banknotes which would be accepted as legal tender in all payments to the state and municipalities with the bank obliged to redeem them in cash at the bank’s branch.  The contract was approved by the state’s Congress on 30 SeptemberEl Siglo Diez y Nueve, 25 October 1882; La Oposicion Radical, Año I, Tomo I, Núm. 98, 30 September 1882 but lapsed without a branch being established.


The branch opened on 1 August 1882. The director was Mariano F. Pasquel,  a member of an ancient and moneyed family with links to Veracruz and Mexico City, and the cajero J. M. Pérez DîazEl Foro, 3 August 1882.


Mercantil Mexicano 5 A 102848

The branch opened on 15 August 1882 with Luis Rivera MacGregor in chargeEl Foro, 15 August 1882; La Sombra de Arteaga, Año XV, Núm. 22, 27 August 1882.


On 7 March 1882 the bank entered into a contract with the state of Coahuila to establish a branch in Saltillo and agencies in other towns. The government would accept the bank’s notes to the exclusion of any other bank which did not have branches and cashed its notes for hard currencyEl Siglo Diez y Nueve, 22 May 1882.

The branch opened on 8 October 1882.

San Luis Potosí

[Doesn't this refer to the Banco Nacional Mexicano?] This branch was authorised in a contract of October 1882 between the state and Ramon C. Othón and Ignacio Muriel, representing the bank, for the establishment of one or more branchesPeriódico Oficial, San Luis Potosí, 24 October 1882. The first consejo de administración consisted of Eduardo C. Pittman, Matías Hernández Soberón, Felipe Muriedas, José Encarnación Ipiña and Santiago WastallPeriódico Oficial, San Luis Potosí, 27 November 1882. Pittman continued managing the branch after the fusion to form the Banco Nacional de México.


In July 1882 the state government authorised the bank to set up a branches in Tampico and elsewhereLa Patria, 26 July 1882.


Mercantil Mexicano 1 A 88260

The branch opened on 20 May 1882 with A. F. Grinda as director and Ramón Herrera as cajeroEl Foro, 24 May 1882.


In August 1882 the firm of Kimball y Albordi y sócios applied to establish a branch of the bank in ZacatecasLa Voz de Mexico, 3 August 1882. The following month the state Congress authorised a branch for a period of 25 years. In turn the bank would facilitate business transactions and grant a credit line to the state government[text needed]Periódico Oficial del Estado de Zacatecas, 16 September 1882.

The representatives nominated for the branch were Julián Ibargüengoitia, Ramón C. Ortiz and Antonio Gómez Castellanos, all shareholders. The branch had not opened by February 1883 as on 3 February governor Jesús Aréchiga extended the time-limit within which the branch should open by  another six months.