The 17th-century Jagat Seths are often referred to as India’s Medicis for their wealth. Rich enough to sponsor the British win at Plassey, they were India’s largest moneylenders of their time. The bull run came to an end with the execution of its patriarchs in 1763. With the single largest source of loans gone the British were soon scrambling for funds to pay for expensive military campaigns. One such campaign against Tipu Sultan proved back-breaking expensive and led to the establishment of India’s first banking service 20 years after the Jagat Seths collapsed. It was called the Bank of Bengal!
The War That Invented Indian Banking
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