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FAITH OF CREDIT BANK OF THE TWO SICILIES NAPLES 1844

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A Rare faith of credit issued by the Bank of the two Sicilies. The share of which we are talking about today is dated back to 1844. To understand its importance it’s necessary explain what a faith of credit is: the apodissiario, that is the one who deposited the money became, at least in theory, lender of the state, that is the King, considered at the bank’s window the richest and most solvent entity in the country. In fact the faith doesn’t stand a deposit, but a credit, and so faith of credit. In fact, in the deposit agreement, the loss with no fault of money exempts the depositary from the refund, while in the case of credit there is the obligation to return the same amount in each case. The faith of credit was circulated, with general satisfaction of the public, from hand to hand and was promptly converted into cash in the suburbs by the treasurers and the royal collectors. Moreover, with the Bourbon restoration, the Bank of the Two Sicilies, unlike the old banks that were non government institutions, it became a field of public administration, and passed to the employ of royal government. It was directed by a single person, the Regent, and was divided into two sectors (Banks) having different functions, at least formally. Both the banks accepted deposits of silver and copper coins. In consequence of the deposit they issued a faith of credit or another share of the Neapolitan tradition. It must be added that the Bank began to distinguish between silver and copper faiths. The Banks converted the silver faiths into silver coins and  the copper faiths into copper coins.  The non-interchangeability between silver and copper can be explained by the fact that the silver coins were worth as much as the fine metal contained in the individual money-making mould, whereas the copper coins circulated with a nominal value that was significantly higher than the price of copper. The copper coinage was a privilege of the state. The private could buy copper coins from the mint, obviously in their nominal value, but couldn’t make coins. The payment in silver of a  copper faith would have resulted in a gift in favor of the share holder and (collectively) a damage for the owners of silver coins. The golden faiths were established in the following decades. In the Two Sicilies the two currencies (the ducat and the shield, interchangeable with each other) were in silver as well as the most of the circulating money-making moulds. The origins of the Faiths of Credit date back to the irregular deposits of money that were carried out at the

Banco delle due SicilieHoly Mount of Pity, founded in 1539 by some gentlemen in order to grant free loans on pledge to people in need. It was a nominative share released by Neapolitan public banks which indicated the place storage of money by corporations or individuals and, issued for amount in excess of 10 ducats, it circulated by “endorsement”. For this reason it testified the transfer of currency at times as a result of a condition that suspended the payment as long as the beneficiary had not demonstrated the fulfillment of the covenant. The National Bank of the Two Sicilies in 1808 (it changed its name into the Bank of the Two Sicilies from 1809 after the merging with the Bank of Court) thanks to Gioacchino Murat, who in that year was appointed King of Naples by Napoleon Bonaparte after the throne taken from the Bourbons, had become vacant by the appointment of Giuseppe Bonaparte as King of Spain. In Naples the new king, now known as “Gioacchino Napoleon”, is well received by the people, who appreciate the good looks, the bloody character, the physical courage and the enjoyment of entertainment, but is hated by the clergy. To retain the kingdom which he painstakingly built, he betrayed Napoleon himself. He lost his throne after the battle of Talentino on May 2, 1815 and, in an attempt to win it back, he was shot in October 1815 after the Bourbon restoration. The Bank of the Two Sicilies didn’t disappear after the Restoration, but continued the activity of public banks, carrying out the function of the financial branch of the Court on one hand, and taking care of the relationship with the commercial and industrial Neapolitan world on the other. In 1861, with the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, the Office changed its name into the Bank of Naples and is recognized as a public body, which is entrusted with the function of a central bank. The value of the faith of credit we are talking about today is around 140 euro. A low price for a very good investment. A customer who wanted to make a deposit to realize a faith of credit went to his favorite bank’s window. Here the clerk recorded the name and the sum to be paid in some books ( particular and general revenue income) and passed the data to the “fedista” who, on instructions received, compiled the share of credit and passed it to the cashier. This annotated in his own hand at the bottom of the share the works “are ducats xxx” and signed. Then an aid of fedista affixed the dry stamp of the bank and, finally, the faith of credit could be delivered to the customer. Conversely, a client who wanted to charge a faith of credit, went to the Wheel of Bank Office with the share and handed it to the officer in charge to Pandette, a great book in which all customers accounts were recorded. The officer, finding the holder’s account number, noted it on the faith that passed to the pandettario, an employee with notarial functions which, after checking the authenticity of the security and the fulfillment of any condition imposed, sent the faith with visa to Major Book. The clerk in turn, after finding if there was “capacity” ,that is coverage on the account, made the charge writing “bona” on the faith by returning it to pandettario. If irregularities were not found, the latter noted on the share “paid ducats xxx” and passed it to the wheel caretaker for delivery to the cashier to liquidate the customer. After closing  the cycle, the faith of credit ,canceled with two scrubs, was literally “impaled” with a string provided with punch.

Schermata 2016-03-30 alle 14.59.28

Alberto PUPPO
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