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Bank Street
Bank Street

The Road heading east from the Circus is Bank Street. A bank has been at its southern corner where it meets Fort Street for almost 200 years. The first one was probably Colonial Bank which was set up by Royal Charter in 1836 to trade in the West Indies.


The former enslavers had been given £20 million as compensation for the loss of their unpaid labour. This meant that there was a significant increase in the money supply both in Britain and the colonies. Entrepreneurs started to realise that it would be good business to establish a bank. Planters and their merchant bankers in London were also aware that when the Apprenticeship system came to an end they would have to pay in cash for the labour on the estates.


Offices of Colonial Bank opened in the West Indies on the 15 July 1837. Despite the ups and downs of the sugar industry in the region, the Bank survived and in the early 20th century was allowed to extend its operations to other part of the world. In 1925 by Act of Parliament, Colonial Bank changed its name to Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) and it started operating as a private subsidiary of Barclays Bank Ltd. In 2002 Barclays took the name of First Caribbean and merged its operation with The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Barclays has since withdrawn from the region but First Caribbean continues to operate here.

Bank Street

Bank Street c.1930

National Archives
Government Headquarters
Church Street
Basseterre
St. Kitts, West Indies

Tel: 869-467-1422 | 869-467-1208
Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.kn
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