After commerce and the arts had revived in Italy, the business of banking was resumed. The word "bank" is commonly regarded as derived from the Italian word banco, a bench - the Jews in Lombardy having benches in the market-place for the exchange of money and bills. When a banker failed, his bench was broken by the populace; and from this circumstance we have our word bankrupt.

But while this is the derivation generally accepted, some writers have asserted that a more accurate explanation of the use of the word "bank" is that which makes it synonymous with the Italian monte (Latin mons, metritis), a mound, heap, or bank. Thus the Italian Monte di Pieta and the French Mont de Piete signify "a Charity Bank." Bacon and Evelyn use the word in the same sense. Bacon says: "Let it be no bank or common stock, but every man be master of his own money." Evelyn, referring to the Monte di Pieta at Padua, writes: "There is a continual bank of money to assist the poor." Black-stone also says: "At Florence, in 1344, government owed 60,000, and being unable to pay it, formed the principal into an aggregate sum called, metaphorically a Mount or Bank."