The Rio and Mato Grosso Bank, founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1891 and closed in 1902, was the first bank to operate in Mato Grosso. Based upon documents of the bank itself, this paper aims at tracing its trajectory and discussing its connections with economics and politics of Mato Grosso. It follows that the bank's action in this state corresponded to a broad plan and contributed to the process of modernization and economic growth - although this growth, being limited to primary-export activities, has been characteristically exclusive. It is also suggested how economic activities, in Mato Grosso, could be affected by political infighting.
Banking history; modernization; economic growth; political conflicts; Paraguayan tea