Knights Templar | Early Banking

Apart from its military and ecclesiastical role, Knights Templar also served as a very efficient financial organization and is considered one of the oldest banks to have existed.

The knights of the order themselves were sworn to poverty and were frequently given large donations as well as control of estates by the nobility to look after.

Because of the Knights Templar Fearsome fighting reputation and their trustworthiness, following the ‘Code of Chivalry’, many nobles and wealthy people in medieval times consider their assets to be in a safe place, if under the control and protection of the ‘Knights Templar’.

This brought large holdings of treasures and Lands under Templar control.

Since the Order directly dealt with Christian pilgrims, the Templars began issuing letters of credit in 1150, allowing pilgrims to deposit their funds at one place and withdraw them at another Templar location.

By the 13th century, the Order had a vast financial network, a fleet of ships and owned the entire island of Cyprus, being actively involved in many businesses, upkeep of estates and other financial activities.

Knights Templar Fast Facts

  • Knights Templar became a very efficient and powerful financial organization.
  • The Order of the Knights Templar had an international financial network in the 13th Century.
  • By the 13th century the Order owned a fleet of ships and the entire island of Cyprus.
  • The Order created one of the oldest banks ever to have existed.
  • The knights of the order themselves were sworn to poverty.

  • The Order was given large donations as well as control of estates by the nobility.
  • Many nobles and wealthy people in medieval times considered their assets to be in a safe place, if under the control and protection of the ‘Knights Templar’.
  • The Templars dealt directly with Christian pilgrims and began issuing letters of credit in 1150.
  • The Templars vast network of banks allowed pilgrims to deposit and withdraw funds right across Europe and the Holylands.