The self-confessed socialist Karl Bürkli (1823-1901) was born 200 years ago in Zurich. He comes from a patrician family and is a trained tanner. In his 20s, he began to travel: Paris, Texas, Nicaragua. He is guided by socialist ideas, the overcoming of capitalism for a more just society. After his return and a backpack full of inspiration for Switzerland, he begins to get actively involved.
From 1970 onwards, the Association of Swiss Consumer Associations is called Coop. Rebates as well as cash payment at daily prices are the peculiarity of consumer associations. In 1974, Coop introduced net prices and thus this era comes to an end.
Karl Bürkli will not only offer food to the entire population at a fair price, but also create a place where all people can store their money or get loans. Large banks such as Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (SKA), founded in 1956, are not designed to serve people with low incomes and assets. The SKA covers the large companies and institutions.
During his tenure as a member of the Zurich Cantonal Council, Bürkli advocates the creation of a bank that would enable the less well-off part of the population to obtain loans. After the plebiscite in 1869, the Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) is founded in 1870 as a bank for the people.
In the collection of the Finance Museum there is a bond of the Zürcher Kantonalbank from 1940. In the 1940s, ZKB had around 120 branches. Zürcher Kantonalbank, 04.12.1940, Source: Foundation for the Collection of Historical Securities.