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History of Money in Malaysia :  Private Tokens & Currencies

Private Banknotes

In the early 19th century, Singapore (the capital of the Straits Settlements), needed an efficient banking system to serve the expanding commercial centre. The first bank established in the Straits Settlements was the Union Bank of Culcutta in 1840 in Singapore. While this bank lasted for only a few years, it did issue paper money and therefore, set the precedence for the banks that were to follows. These banks included The Oriental Bank Corporation, The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London and China, The Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, The Asiatic Bank Corporation, The New Oriental Bank and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. After 1866, only four banks traded in the Settlements, namely The oriental, The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London and China. The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, Australia and China, and The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank. In 1898, the Government of the Straits Settlements issued their own notes for circulation, eliminating the need for any further notes from the trading banks.