Early futile attempts to establish banks of issue

As independent Mexico developed its financial and commercial institutions there were several, ultimately unsuccessful, attempts to establish banks of issueThis section is only concerned with proposals to issue banknotes. For a understanding of the development of banking per se, see other sources, e.g. Leonor Ludlow and Carlos Marcihal (eds.), Banca y Poder en México (1800–1925), Mexico, 1985. These included:

El Gran Banco del Imperio Mexicano

In 1822 Francisco de Paula Tamariz proposed to the Comisión de Hacienda a project to establish a Gran Banco del Imperio Mexicano to address the payment of public employees and the shortage of currency in the country. It would issue four million in cédulas, pagarés or haré-buenos, which would be protected from counterfeiting by a complex system of endorsements.

Tamariz included models for these haré-buenos in his proposal.

Gran Banco 5

Gran Banco 5 reverse

Gran Banco 50

Gran Banco 50 reverse


Francisco de Garay

In 1842 Santa Anna gave General Francisco de Garay authorisation to establish a bank to help develop the north of the countryDiario del Gobierno de la República Mexicana, Tom. XXIV, Núm. 2685, 29 October 1842; El Siglo Diez y Nueve, Año II, Trim. 1, 5 November 1842. The bank was to have a capital of $1,000,000 and could issue up to $6,000,000, of which $2,000,000 would be in intetest-bearing notes (billetes de banco, con interes de 6 por 100 anual) and $4,000,000 in simple banknotes (notas de banco, pagables al portador en el acto de su presentacion).

Manuel Escandón

On 20 April 1853 Manuel EscandónEscandón was possibly the richest businessman in Mexico at the time, being one of the main creditors of the government, a shareholder in mines, owner of haciendas and promotor of the country’s first railway (vide Margarita Urías, “Manuel Escandón: de las diligencias al ferrocarril. 1833-1862” in Ciro Cardoso (coord.), Formación y desarrollo de la burguesía, Mexico, 1978, pp25-56) presented Santa Anna with a proposal to establish a Banco Nacional with the object of administering the federal receipts. The bank’s capital would be eight million pesos, six in hard currency and two in notes. However, the government would not agree to entrust all the receipts to a private bankMemoria de Hacienda y Crédito Público, correspondiente al cuadragésimo quinto año económico presentada por el secretario de Hacienda al Congreso de la Unión el 16 de septiembre de 1870, pp. 406-408.

Junta de Crédito Público

A Junta de Crédito Público was set up on 1 January 1856 by Ignacio Comonfort, under the presidency of Gregorio de Mier y Teránthe other members of the junta were Mariano Yañez, Francisco Iturbe, Bonifacio Gutiérrez, Marcelino Castañeda, Manuel Rozas, Mariano Riva Palacio, Octaviano Muñoz Ledo, José Joaquín de Rozas and Juan Goríbar (El Siglo Diez y Nueve, No. 2594, 13 February 1856 to administer the customs service and the amortization of the public debt. It was authorised to issue up to eight million pesos in bonds. On 30 April 1856 Comonfort authorised the Junta to establish a Banco de Circulación y Descuento with a capital of twenty million pesos but nothing came of the proposal.

An early Banco de México

On 29 July 1857 President Ignacio Comonfort authorised Liger de Libessart and associates to establish a bank. Its statutes provided for an issue of notes in nine denominations ($1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000).

Another Banco de México

On 30 January 1864 Maximilian’s Secretario de Hacienda y Crédito Público published a decree made at the Imperial Palace on 2 January that gave a concession to a group led by Michel Heinethe group also included the bankers Hottinger y Cía, Finlay Hodgson y Cia, Pillet Will y Cía., Mallet Hermanos y Cía., F. A. Seillière, and Marcuard André y Cía, all based in Europe to establish a Banco de México, with the functions to discount documents such as bills of exchange, issue and circulate paper money payable at sight and to the bearer (billetes pagaderos a la vista y al portador), receive deposits, and to place and negotiate loans and government securities, both in Mexico and abroadPeriódico Oficial del Imperio Mexicano, Tomo II, Nº 13, 30 January 1864.

On 14 May the French Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote from Paris that that Finance Minister thought it very regrettable that Maximilian had not thought to ratify the concession granted to Hottinger y Cía as currently drafted, based on the principles of the Banque de France. However, the founders were prepared to accept the modifications suggested to satisfy the Emperorletter Drouyn de Lhuys to Marqués de Montholón, French Minister in Mexico, 14 May 1864 in Genaro García, Documentos Inéditos ó Muy Raros para la Historia de México, Tomo XX,.Mexico, 1908.

This bank's notes are discussed in Banknotes of Emperor Maximilian.

A Banco Nacional de Emisión e Hipotecatio

In November 1868 the deputy Peña y Ramírez proposed a Banco Nacional de Emisión e Hipotecario.