European Association for Banking and Financial History: Workshop & Conference

12 - 13 Jun 2014

Organised by: EABH (European Association for Banking and Financial History) and Swiss Re

Day 1: Archival Workshop

Banks at War I:
Financial Institutions confronted by the Great War

This project aims to reconstitute the reaction and adaption of banks and insurance companies in the first days, weeks and months of what became the Great War. The objective is to deliver a comprehensive study, rich with case studies and illustrations from different international archival centres.

Banks and insurance companies were altogether competing against each other and complementing their activities on a global level in Germany and France. All of a sudden, war imposed drastic borders between two fighting camps and created two economic and finance areas. Governments had to finance the immediate needs of military entities. Moreover, the creation of an ‘economics of war’ fostered a new structure of productive processes, where banks and insurance companies assumed their functions and tasks.

How did banks and insurance companies fare throughout the conflict? Records of loans to companies offer a good way of understanding the economic war effort and the policy of investment. Archival sources could foster analysis of the destabilizing aspects of war of the new role of the state imposed on business and daily life. Archival materials offer excellent opportunities for (comparative) analysis of the changing strategies and business models as a reaction to crisis, which also created barriers to free markets and exchanges.

For more information click here.

Day 2: Annual Conference

Risk Management

The term ‘RISK’ has experienced inflationary use over the last years, resulting in a multitude of linguistic combinations. While everyday notions of risk are closely associated with danger and uncertainty, financial services, banking and insurance associate the term mainly with deviations from the expected. Such attempts aim at separating economic risk from uncertainty and at making risks insurable. They imply that risk can be quantified or measured and thus managed. Banking and insurance have both developed individual ways of dealing with risk, which, to some degree, show signs of a parallel evolution. Besides actuarial methods, both insurance and modern finance have applied portfolio selection or diversification as a guiding principle.

For more information click here.