Ukrainbank (full name: Український народний кооперативний банк; Ukrainskyi narodnyi kooperatyvnyi bank, or Ukrainian National Co-operative Bank). The central financial co-ordinating body for Ukrainian credit unions and agricultural co-operatives. It was founded in 1917 in Kyiv with an initial capitalization of one million rubles. At the time its shares were valued at 250 rubles and were sold only to co-operatives. In July 1918 more shares were issued, to raise the capital fund to two million rubles. By the end of 1919 the capital reserve had reached 25 million rubles. The first director was Fedir Kryzhanivsky, and the first chairman of the board was Khrystofor Baranovsky. Ukrainbank was to regulate the finances for all Ukrainian co-operatives, attract capital for co-operatives from the money market and foreign sources, provide financing for manufacturing and marketing co-operatives, and arrange state loans for co-operatives. It had branches (16 in 1919) in most larger cities in Ukraine. In 1919 it had a total turnover of 286 million rubles. From its earnings it supported Ukrainian cultural and educational institutions, including Kyiv University and the Ukrainfilm film studio.

The Soviet authorities dissolved Ukrainbank in December 1920 and closed down all credit co-operatives during the period of War Communism. The bank was revived in 1922 but was placed under much stricter central control. By 1926 it had organized a system of 50 regional branches and affiliates, which served almost 5,800 credit co-operatives, and by 1929 it had reserves of over 130 million rubles. Its operations were restricted gradually until they consisted mostly of financing import and export trade. Ukrainbank was placed under the authority of the all-Union Commissariat of Finances and the central bank in Moscow, and in 1936 it was closed down.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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