Common to the two states of the monarchy is the "Austro-Hungarian Bank," which possesses a legal exclusive right to the issue of bank-notes. It was founded in 1816, and had the title of the Austrian National Bank until 1878, when it received its actual name. In virtue of the new bank statute of the year 1899 the bank is a joint-stock company, with a stock of £8,780,000. The bank's notes of issue must be covered to the extent of two-fifths by legal specie (gold and current silver) in reserve; the rest of the paper circulation, according to bank usage. The state, under certain conditions, takes a portion of the clear profits of the bank. The management of the bank and the supervision exercised over it by the state are established on a footing of equality, both states having each the same influence. The accounts of the bank at the end of 1900 were as follows: capital, £8,750,000; reserve fund, £428,250; note circulation, £62,251,000; cash, £50,754,000. In 1907 the reserve fund was £548,041; note circulation, £84,501,000; cash, £60,036,625. The charter of the bank, which expired in 1897, was renewed until the end of 1910. In the Hungarian ministerial crisis of 1909 the question of the renewal of the charter played a conspicuous part, the more extreme members of the Independence party demanding the establishment of separate banks for Austria and Hungary with, at most, common superintendence (see History, below).

(O. Br.)