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La banque de la Nouvelle-Calédonie. Existence éphémère, expérience oubliée (1874-1877)

Catherine Buttet


New Caledonia, a little populated penal colony, was tributary of tradesmen and the Treasury for the whole banking operations in 1870. Born from a company of colonization based on private initiative, the "Banque de la Nouvelle Caledonie" was an experiment distinct from the old colonial banks of which the new statutory framework was used then for the "Banque de l'Indochine". The bank was supported by the Government thanks to an authorization then a privilege. However, confronted with difficulties (economic situation, organization) it quickly lost the support of a Government was much more concerned with appearances than with effectiveness. Quickly, the bank had known facilities, and the transactions with close Australia were made easier by it. However, the mistrust of the Government being expressed by the refusal of banknotes by the Treasuary then the discount of the unsold nickel in Europe, led the bank to two difficulties which were: the loss of confidence and the loss of credit. Officially, the consequence of the mining crisis, the bankruptcy of the bank was later occulted by the Kanak revolt of 1878. It is only in 1888 that the Government , after various requests, obtained from the "Banque de l'Indochine" a branch in Noumea. French colonization, this banking house which was not a trival element, did not profit from significant and coherent means, in order to reach the aims proclaimed for New Caledonia.

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Chronologique :

XIXe siècle
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Electronic reference

Catherine Buttet, « La banque de la Nouvelle-Calédonie. Existence éphémère, expérience oubliée (1874-1877) », Cahiers d'histoire [Online], 45-1 | 2000, Online since , connection on 20 November 2019. URL :

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About the author

Catherine Buttet

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