With all the news of banks imploding nowadays, it's refreshing to read an article about some of the world's oldest surviving banks.
This one above is from Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, founded 1472 in Siena, Italy. It is the oldest surviving bank today:
Originally formed as The Monte di Pietà, or Monte Pio, to make loans to the poor out of charity, this is the longest running bank in the world. “Monte,” meaning “heap” or “pile,” referred to the collection of money used for charitable distribution, and the bank truly served to benefit the city’s economy. One interesting historical note is that the citizens of Siena put up income from the land as guarantees against loans for farming and city infrastructure, which led to it being referred to as Monte dei Paschi in reference to the land. Today it stands out as the oldest existing bank in the world by far, and remains an esteemed bank that has branches throughout Italy.
Previously on Neatorama: 10 American Financial Meltdowns in the Past Century