"Podkarpatski Bank" is a bright star in the Transcarpathian history
This stock company has been created in May 1920 as an institution that could help the city habitants and peasants from the extremely poor Subcarpathian Rus for developing and establishing their own business. Avgustyn Voloshyn and V. Takacs, the Greek Catholic bishop from the USA, are called the ideological inspirers of the bank, instead, the American emigrants, who mainly became shareholders, collected the main capital of 5 million Czech koruna, helping for implementing this idea.
There were wide range activity of the "Podkarpatski Bank" ("Subcarpathian Bank"). It was that who had delivered 52 carriages of corn from Romania during hungry 1920, which later had been sold to the people for an actual purchase price. It was that who agreed providing a loan of 700 000 korunas to the authors of the feature film "Koriatovych", which was filmed in 1922 in our area. According to the Vikentii Shandor's memoirs, who worked in the bank since 1927, a copy of the film "Koriatovych" has even been saved in the archive of the institution, obviously, as a guarantee of the loan post-rolling repayment. The Bank also brought up young people, in particular, he issued a savings book with one Czech koruna in his account to all the scouts. Using the book was possible only after gathering 20 koruna by a scout, so the scouts were accustomed for saving.
Besides, the "Podkarpatski Bank" has got a monopoly on the salt trade in the province, it cooperated and helped many well-known enterprises in the land to get back on their feet: "Akord", the production of candles named as "Helios", woodworking enterprise "Javor", the nail factory, etc. The Bank even purchased the entire Great Galagov city district, that is, the land between the present streets namely Mytna, Zahorska and Sobranetska during the development of the Galagov district. This district was wanted to make it as elite with the village buildings.
During the first years of its activities, this bank remained very successful. If it accumulated deposits of 2 million coruna as of the foundation year, then the deposits amount reached 35 million in 1928. Due both to bank's advertising policy as from "the first people's" one and the cooperation with American banks, through which our workers sent funds earned in America to Subcarpathian Rus, as well as competent leadership,management which was carried out during different years by Julius Brashchaiko, a lawyer, and later by Kostiantyn Hrabar, the city's staff chief and the governor of the province, "Podkarpatski Bank" developed itself and permitted to do so for others. During the years of the existence of Subcarpathian Rus, it was able to open up to ten branches, in particular, in Prešov, Mukachevo, Khust, Rakhiv, Vynohradiv, Tiachiv, Yasynia, Solotvyno, Vilok, Mykhailivtsi.
We don't know what was the bank's first address in Uzhhorod, but we know from the newspapers that in 1921 the institution moved to a new place as "the largest square of the city with a profitable locale." The place was always Masaryk square (presently Petofi) , which was full of crowd and held fairs and gathered people from around the district on. The newspapers wrote then that the doors of the bank are almost always open, and people go there, like bees that bring gained things into their hive.
In the early 1930's, problems began in the bank, when the wave of economic crisis swept Czechoslovakia. It united to the bank of the Czechoslovak Legion (Legiobank), but at the same time it weakened (later some of the leaders of the Carpathian Ukraine accused the director Vasyl Fedynets, because, trade unjustified side payments were allegedly made according his instructions).
However, this was just the beginning compared to further years, when the bank had to urgently evacuate from Uzhhorod after the Vienna Arbitration decision.
There were 34 688 Czech koruna on account in the bank as of January 1939, submitted by philanthropists worldwide for supporting the Carpathian Sich. However, this circumstance didn't help the army to defend the Carpathian Ukraine, the "Podkarpatsky bank" really disappeared simultaneously with that as well.
There are evidences that the institution still operated in Prešov for some time. A Hungarian bank, worked in Uzhhorod in the same building of the current branch of the National Bank, took over the same local liabilities and assets. It is officially believed that the "Podkarpatski Bank" along with other ones was abolished on August 13, 1946 in the region territory. Instead, the Soviet authorities introduced a single state bank.
According to Tetiana Literati "Pro Zahid" materials