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Business & Economics Banks & Banking

Banking en francais

The French Banks of Quebec 1835-1925

by (author) Ronald Rudin

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 1985
Banks & Banking, General, Economic History
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    Publish Date
    Dec 1985
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Ronald Rudin provides the first historical examination of francophone participation within a particular sector of the economy. By examining the operations of the French-run chartered banks from the establishment of the Banque du Peuple in 1835 to the emergence of the Banque Canadienne Nationale in 1925, he challenges various notions regarding the role of French-speakers in the economy. The operations of the nine French banks which functioned during this period provided little evidence that French-speaking businessmen were fearful of success, were poor judges of markets, or were reluctant to take risks.


These banks operated in a manner similar to that of English-run banks of a comparable size. The exception to this rule was in terms of the market from which the French banks drew their funds. The bulk of their shareholders and depositors were French-speaking, as barely a dent was made in the English-speaking market. Indeed, by the early twentieth century the Canadian capital market was clearly fragmented along linguistic lines. Professor Rudin concludes -- after examining government and corporate records -- that these francophone enterprises were limited not by any lack of business sense among their leaders but by their problems in tapping a larger capital market.

About the author

Ronald Rudin is a professor in the Department of History and co-director of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University. His most recent book, Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie, received both the US National Council on Public History Book Award and the Public History Prize of the Canadian Historical Association.

Ronald Rudin's profile page

Other titles by Ronald Rudin