Banking Tit-Bits

The term bank is supposed to be derived from banco, the Italian word for bench.

As the churches considered charging interest or charging fee for handling money is against the religion, the Lombard Jews in Italy entered into this sector. They were having benches in the market-place where they exchanged money and bills, so they were called bankers. When a banker failed, his bench was broken by the people, and he was called a bankrupt. This derivation of the term, however, is probably wrong. “The true original meaning of banco, is a heap, or mound, and this word was metaphorically applied to signify a common fund, or joint stock, formed by the contributions of a multitude of persons”, says MacLeod.