The secondary market for bank shares in nineteenth-century Britain

Graeme Acheson, John D Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Stock transferability and liquidity are viewed as vital characteristics of capital markets. Surprisingly, we know very little about the level of trading activity on, and liquidity of the market for, company stock during the rapid growth of the British capital market in the nineteenth century. This article attempts to shed some light on this important issue by examining the market for bank shares using trading data collected from bank archives. Our evidence suggests that trading activity and liquidity changed imperceptibly over the century. We also find that ownership structure is a major determinant of trading activity and liquidity; whereas shareholder liability regimes don't appear to affect liquidity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-151
Number of pages29
JournalFinancial History Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2008


  • bank shares
  • nineteenth century Britain
  • secondary market
  • stock transferability


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