European Association for Banking and Financial History e.V.

(1990) - 2013
Parallel forms of name


Historical Notes

The European Association for Banking History e.V. (eabh) was founded on 29 November 1990 in Frankfurt am Main by 22 banking and one academic institution from 20 European countries. The members of the Association are banking and insurances companies, archivists and historians active in the field of banking history. In shortest time the association developed into an internationally recognized organisation.; in 1998 the association counted 60 members, in 2016 it has 80 member organisations. The objective of eabh is to promote dialogue between European bankers, academics and archivists.

The association's main decision making body is the General Members' Assembly which meets yearly. The Board of Management together with the Secretary General manage daily business and strategic matters with support of the Board of Patrons and an Academic Advisory Council. The General Secretariat has its seat in Frankfurt am Main. Chairmen of the Board have been Sir Evelyn de Rothschild (The Rothschild Bank), Willem Frederic Duisenberg (European Central Bank), Jean-Claude Trichet (European Central Bank)and Hugo Bänziger (Lombard Odier).

The input for the creation of a forum for discussing and promoting research in banking history on a European level came from Manfred Pohl then head of the 'Historisches Institut der Deutschen Bank' (1972-2001) and a strong supporter of the European integration process and the Euro. During a conference held in Frankfurt in 1989 he presented the idea to create an association for banking history and gathered European scholars and banking institutions’ archivists in a working group to work on a statutes draft.

The association acts as a bridge between archivists of banking institutions, historians and bankers. eabh has created the most extensive European network for research into banking history. Since its foundation, it has explicitly intended to contribute to the European integration process in the sector of culture and science by studying and fostering research into the history of finance.

eabh publishes important studies and conference papers; amongst others, the 'Financial History Review' (since 1994, Oxford University Press) and the series 'Studies in Banking History' (since 1999, Ashgate publishers). It organises numerous conferences, academic symposia, workshops and seminars in various locations across Europe.

The awareness of the crucial role played by the banking institutions' archives in the field of finance and banking history enforced eabh's role in acting as a forum for the exchange of best-practice knowledge in archives and led to specific various initiatives. Numerous conferences and workshops dealt with specific archival topics such as the issue of archives during and after corporate mergers, the elaboration of a 'Code of European Best Practice' (2003) and the setting-up of a "Corporate Culture Memory Task Force" (2008). eabh involves and promotes young people in its activities and working programs by organizing specific summer schools, workshops and the 'Young Scholars Prize'.

In 2001 the European Foundation for Culture 'Pro Europa' awarded to Manfred Pohl and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild the 'European Culture Prize 2001' acknowledging the association's contribution to European high-level communication culture.

After a general survey in 2004 the name of the association was officially changed to eabh (The European Association for Banking and Financial History e.V.).

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