Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History

Explore the extraordinary past of Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through the pages of the book 'Novi Bečej and Vranjevo through History.' Uncover political events, economic development, and cultural heritage of these Banat towns through richly documented stories. Follow the evolution from the earliest days to the present, delving into the intricate threads of political intrigues, economic transformations, and cultural ascensions. Experience the past through the eyes of the author as the pages of the book unfold before you, providing a unique perspective on the life and legacy of these significant locales.

The establishment and role of Savings Banks in Novi Bečej
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Pioneers of the financial sector: The establishment and role of Savings Banks in Novi Bečej

The development of the economy and the establishment of better communication - steamboats, railway construction - contributed to the increase in traffic, and consequently, the need for a new function of money emerged, as a credit means. Credit institutions and banks were formed which, at certain moments, with appropriate guarantees, influenced the increase in traffic in certain areas, companies, and individuals - merchants and craftsmen.

The grain trade, which until the second half of the nineteenth century in Novi Bečej was in the hands of Serbs and Vlachs, increasingly passed into the hands of newly arrived Jews. In the newly emerged economic situation (the growth of capitalist economic relations and the displacement of feudal ones), this trade became more consolidated and concentrated in fewer hands, so it was directed from large economic centers.

Increased traffic could not be served by the cash part of a single owner of money, but had to be pooled by investing in certain savings and credit institutions and banks. Novi Bečej felt such a need already in the mid-nineteenth century.

Jewish merchants and wealthier merchants and craftsmen Hungarians founded the first such institution: the Turkish-Bečej Savings Bank in 1868. The founder and its first director was engineer István Kepeši. The Turkish-Bečej Savings Bank operated under that name until the Second World War, and after the First World War, it was headed by the owner of the printing house and bookstore in Novi Bečej, Giga Jovanović. For many years, the chairman of the board of directors was Imre Deri, a Jew, who was also the director of the Senćan steam sawmill and mill in Novi Bečej. The Savings Bank had its building on the main street, where many shops are located today on the ground floor, and the Social Security Institute on the upper floor.

It didn't take long for the need for such savings banks to arise among other merchants, craftsmen, and even wealthier farmers. Thus, in 1882, the People's Savings Bank d.d. (joint-stock company) was founded in Turkish Bečej. Maletić was at the helm of the savings bank as manager, and it was called Maletić's bank after him, and the building where the savings bank was located until the Second World War was called Maletić's house. It is the building on the corner where the Craftsmen's Hall is today. The bank was liquidated during the period of the Great Depression.

Almost until the Second World War, Novi Bečej had another savings bank - Vranjevačka Serbian Savings Bank. It was founded in 1900 as the Oračka Savings and Loan Association, and in 1905, it was transformed into a joint-stock company. Its board of directors included: Rada Blažin, landowner, Miloš Lalić, landowner, Danilo Kovačev, landowner, Svetozar Marčić, landowner, Miloš Glavaš-Trbić, landowner, all from Vranjevo, Svetozar Tucakov, merchant from Novi Bečej, and Vlada Bajin, landowner from Novi Bečej.

It is important to note for Novi Bečej that Ivan Berić worked in this savings bank as a bookkeeper, whose son Aleksandar Berić, as the commander of the war monitor Drava, died a heroic death, defending the access to the Danube and the rivers of Yugoslavia near Bezdan in the Second World War.

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