El Banco Nacional Mexicano

This bank was founded by Edward NoetzlinNoetzlin was the most important foreign financier during the Porfiriato and involved in virtually all the key financial events in Mexico. The fact that Noetzlin was a foreign financier, involved in numerous “national” financial arrangements both helped him advance, and limited his successes. Perhaps most illustrative of the weakness that his foreign status conveyed was the infamous 1884 foreign debt negotiations between Noetzlin (and his European banking syndicate) and the Mexican government. While this debt arrangement was being scrutinized and debated in the Mexican Congress, street protests erupted in Mexico City denouncing the deal with shouts of “Muera a Noetzlin.” The arrangement was scuttled. Despite this and several other private incidents where Noetzlin’s status as a foreigner was used to discredit his role in Mexico’s national finances, Noetzlin traded gainfully in Mexico and in Europe on his social capital, on the value and worth of his social networks. In Mexico Noetzlin represented himself and his bank as part of a broad European capital network, a network he argued was necessary for Mexican entrepreneurs to gain access to lucrative foreign credit markets. Moreover he used similar arguments when he negotiated with a credit-strapped Mexican government or when it sought to diversify its financial exposure in Europe. Similarly, in Europe, Noetzlin represented himself as the consummate Mexican insider with a wealth of experience, contacts and intimates, and thus he was the necessary linchpin between European capital and the expanding Mexican market (Thomas Passananti, Banking on Mexico: Edouard Noetzlin and the Role of Financial Networks in Porfirian Mexico) and its shareholders were mainly identified with the Franco-Egyptian Bank. It was granted a federal concession on 16 August 1881 and began operations on 23 February 1882El Diario del Hogar, Tomo I, Núm. 122, 22 February 1882, with its main office in Mexico City and branches in Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Puebla, Veracruz and Mérida. It had a number of privileges, among which was the important one that its notes were accepted as unlimited legal tender in all offices of the federal government (a privilege soon restricted as far as branch issues were concerned).

On 15 May 1884 it merged with the Banco Mercantil Mexicano to form the Banco Nacional de México. Both banks agreed to retire their notes within two years and replace them with notes of the new bank. As a consequence surviving notes are extremely rare.

American Bank Note Company print runs

The American Bank Note Company produced the following notes.

Nacional Mexicano 1

Nacional Mexicano 1 reverse

Nacional Mexicano 2

Nacional Mexicano 5

Nacional Mexicano 5 reverse

Nacional Mexicano 10

Nacional Mexicano 20

Nacional Mexicano 20 reverse

Nacional Mexicano 50

Nacional Mexicano 50 reverse

Nacional Mexicano 100

Nacional Mexicano 500

Nacional Mexicano 1000

Date Value Number Series from to Comment
October 1881 $1 50,000  A1-Z2 000 999 50 series from A1 to Z2 with 1,000 notes each (I1 and I2 were not used)
$2 100,000 A1-Z4 000 999 100 series from A1 to Z4 with 1,000 notes each (I1. I2, I3 and I4 were not used)
$5 350,000 A1-Z14 000 999 350 series from A1 to Z14 with 1,000 notes each (I1-I14 were not used)
$10 250,000 A1-Z10 000 999 250 series from A1 to Z10 with 1,000 notes each (I1-I10 were not used)
$20 100,000 A1-Z4 000 999 100 series from A1 to Z4 with 1,000 notes each (I1. I2, I3 and I4 were not used)
$50 20,000 A1-U1 000 999 20 series with 1,000 notes each (I1 was not used)
$100 20,000 A1-U1 000 999 20 series with 1,000 notes each (I1 was not used)
$500 3,000 A1 000 999  
B1 000 999  
C1 000 999  
$1000 1000 A1 000 999  

 

Date Value Number Series from to Comment
August 1882 $500 2,000 D1 000 999  
E1 000 999  
$1000 12,000 B1 000 999  
C1 000 999  

 

Signatures

The (identifiable) signatures are Castulo Zenteno and Manuel Romero Rubio as Interventor, Ramón G. Guzmán and José María Bermejillo as Director, and Alberto de Muralt as Cajero.

Interventor

Cástulo Zenteno was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas on 22 May 1837. He owned the El Cristo coal mine in Tempoal, Veracruz, served as a special messenger for Porfirio Díaz in 1876 and attained the rank of colonel in 1878. As well as political offices (deputy for Yucatan (1876-1878), senator for Yucatan (1884-1888) and deputy from Yucatan (1896-1900)), he represented the Mexican government on the Oriental, Internation and Interoceanic Railroads (1881), and was chief tax collector for the Federal District (1884). sig Zenteno
Romero RubioManuel Romero Rubio was born on 7 March 1828 in Atzcapotzalco, Mexico City. He was a lawyer and politician holding various offices including deputy from Puebla (1856-1857, 1867-1868), governor of Mexico City (1857). He joined Juárez’ Liberals during the revolution of Ayutla (1855-1856), was captured by the French and exiled to Europe in 1863, as a supporter of Lerdo and his secretary of foreign relations he opposed Díaz’ Plan of Tuxtepec in 1876 and was exiled to New York from 1877 until 1880. He returned to establish an opposition newspaper and became a senator from the state of Tabasco from 1880 to 1895. He eventually collaborated with his former political opponent by serving as Díaz’ Secretario de Gobernación for eleven years until his death (1 December 1884-3 October 1895). He was the father of Carmen Romero Rubio, the second wife of Porfirio Díaz, as well as the father-in-law of the prominent banker José de Teresa. He died on 3 October 1895. sig Romero

 

Director

Ramón G. Guzmán sig Guzman
José María Bermejillo sig Bernajillos

 

Cajero

Alberto de Muralt sig cashier

Issues

  Date on note Series from to Interventor Director Cajero  
$1 20 February 1882             Known overprinted and needle-punched VERACRUZ
23 February 1882 A1     Zentero Guzman de Muralt  
E1     Romero     Known overprinted and needle-punched VERACRUZ
1 July 1882 M1     Zentero     Known overprinted San Luis Potosí
T1     Romero Guzman de Muralt  
10 July 1882 S1     Zentero Guzman de Muralt  
31 October 1882 A1     Romero Guzman de Muralt Known overprinted and needle-punched VERACRUZ
C2     Zentero Guzman de Muralt Known overprinted and needle-punched VERACRUZ
P2     Romero Bernajillos de Muralt  
$2       [              ] 1882 G1     Zentero Bernajillos  de Muralt Known overprinted and needle-punched VERACRUZ
31 October 1882             Known overprinted and needle-punched VERACRUZ
$5     
             
$10      10 February 1882
      Zentero Guzman    
10 February 1883 D2     Zentero Guzman de Muralt  
$20    
             
$50
             
$100 23 February 1882
             
$500
             
$1000
             

Branches and overprints

The reason for the branch overprints was the rule for redeeming notes. On its opening the bank published a notice that notes issued by branches would have two stamps (one central and one local). The branch would reemburse its own notes but had no obligation to remburse the notes of Mexico City or of other branches. Branch notes could be reembursed in the head office, according to rules that the bank would issueEl Diario del Hogar, Tomo I, Núm. 122, 22 February 1882

On 6 June 1882 the government agreed terms for accepting the branch notes which limited the federal offices' obligationsEl Siglo Diez y Nueve, 22 June 1882; La Voz de México, Tomo XIII, Núm. 141, 22 June 1882.

Veracruz

Veracruz was the first branch and opened on 1 March 1882.

Nacional Mexicano 1 X1 076

OP Veracruz

Guadalajara

San Luis Potosí

After agreeing a contract with the governor, Pedro Diez Gutiérrez, the bank opened its branch in San Luis Potosí on 30 October 1882La Patria, 18 November 1882. The members of the local board were Matias Hernandez Soberon, Felipe Muriedas and. José Encarnacio Ipiña. The manager was Santiago Wastall and the cajero Celestino Labarthe.

Guanajuato

The Guanajuato was established in November 1882La Voz de México, 16 November 1882. The director was Francisco de Ibarrondo and the cajero Francisco de Ezcurdia.

Puebla

The branch opened in 1882 under Mariano Pasquel, a member of an ancient and moneyed family with links to Veracruz and Mexico City(?).

Mérida

On 17 October 1882 the governor of Yucatán, General Octavio Rosado, and J. Mammelsdorf and Santiago Kulp, 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 branch opened on 15 November 1882Le Trait d’Union, 25 November 1882 with a capital of $300,000 and under the management of Carlos VaronaThe junta de viligancia was composed of Pedro de Regil y Peón, Manuel Dondé Cámara and Camilo Cámara. The cajero was Emilio Márquez.

Notes in circulation and withdrawals

On 18 March 1883 rumours circulated that the bank had insufficient funds and some holders of notes rushed to change them into coin. However, the bank reassured the public and the Banco de Londres, México y Sud América offered to announce that they were accepting Banco Nacional Mexicano notesEl Fronterizo, Tucson, 6 April 1883.

The bank was the only one to publish a monthly balancesheet so we know of the following figures for notes in circulation:

  1882 1883 1884
January   2,856,440 2,683,339
February 399,670 2,868,276El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 5 March 1883{/foonote} 2,716,848
March 744,454 1,719,809El Fronterizo, Tucson, 4 May 1883 2,569,534
April 1,091,142 1,853,168El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 4 May 1883; El Fronterizo, Tucson, 1 June 1883 2,088,854on 1 May, El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 6 May 1884
May 1,570,999El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 6 June 1882; La Voz de México, 10 June 1882{/foonote} 2,029,741 2,236,897
June 2,062,520El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 5 July 1882{/foonote} 2,187,931  
July 2,607,537El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 3 August 1882{/foonote} 2,118,923  
August 3,153,394 2,403,380  
September 3,312,120 2,170,585  
October 3,561,226 2,508,752  
November 3,184,738El Fronterizo, Tucson, 19 January 1883
2,318,737El Siglo Diez y Nueve, 6 December 1883{/foonote}   
December 3,194,419El Fronterizo, Tucson, 9 February 1883 2,236,897El Monitor Republicano, 30 January 1884  

 

When the Banco Nacional Mexicano merged with the Banco Mercantil Mexicano to form the Banco Nacional de México, it had $2,236,897 in circulation and another $3,468,103 within the bank, making a total of $5,705.00. Most of this had been withdrawn by the end of 1899 Memoria de las Instituciones de Credito, 1897-1899, Tomo III. The report combines the outstanding amounts of the Banco Mercantil Mexicano ($5,088,759) and Banco Nacional Mexicano ($5,705,000) for a total of $10,776,858, of which only $16,901 remained in circulation by December 1899.