In the early 19th century, the Prussian authorities designated the Wielkopolska Region to serve as the breadbasket supplying the state’s non-agricultural provinces. Since sophisticated farming practices proved to be quite costly, Wielkopolska land owners came up with the idea of establishing an institution that would fi nance their operations and help them pay off their growing debts. This led to the creation in 1821 of the Credit Society, Poland’s fi rst organisation of its kind. In the mid-19th century, the Prussian authorities shut it down on the grounds of being overly favourable to Poles. They replaced it with a German organisation which in time set up its headquarters in the Imperial Forum area.