The Commercial Bank of Manitoba (1885 - 1893)

Image: Sir Hugh Allan. Source: Library and Archives Canada. 
From wikipedia ‘Hugh Allen’

One of the earliest banks in Manitoba was the Commercial Bank of Manitoba, 1885 - 1893.

In 1872 Donald Smith, (Lord Strathcona) sponsored a bill to incorporate the Bank, along with some other financial institutions. The first president was Sir Hugh Allan, a shipbuilder, financier and banker. (Allan had another claim to fame - his company was awarded the first contract to build the CPR but the 1873 Pacific Scandal that brought down MacDonald saw his Allan's contract declared null and void).

The Commercial Bank of Manitoba along with three others: The Sovereign; Banque du Peuple de Montreal and The Ontario Bank, failed in an 1893 market crash

Some blamed the crash on an over-regulated banking system at the time but it “…had been an example less of the inadequacy of the Canadian system of regulation than of the punishment which irregular banking brings in its train.” ( Source: The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Aug., 1900), pp. 543-551). 

In the end, the CBM was able to pay back its depositors.

Examples of Bank of Manitoba money:


Bank note sources: here and here. To examine the $5 in great detail go here.

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