This poster of the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas calls on people to participate in the 4th National Defence loan, launched in November 1918. The sums the French people loaned the State to finance the war effort were paid back in the form of an annual annuity of 5%. The presence of the silhouettes of Lafayette and Washington in the left and right corners of the document allude to the entry of the United States in the war on 2 April 1917.
When the banks contributed to the war effort
French banks provided decisive support to help fund the 1914-1918 war and the reconstruction efforts.
Faced with the exceptional financial needs related to the length of the conflict, the French government launched 4 major “National Defence loans” (1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918).
Meanwhile the banks mobilised their networks in order to harness the savings of the French people. Issued as perpetual bonds starting in 1915, these four National Defence loans were the most famous, promoted on posters featuring powerful patriotic allegories. These posters covered the facades of bank agencies during the war.