This article traces the origins of the ‘national bank’ in the Gold Coast. It shows how the Colonial authorities perverted the demand by Africans for a special kind of bank to aid their development. The Colonial Office preferred and ensured the establishment of an orthodox institution, which had little to give with regard to Africans' demand for developmental credit. This was because it believed that such development institutions would be unhelpful to, arguably, uncreditworthy Africans. This attitude, it is argued, represented a setback to the Gold Coast's development. Either such an institution, as demanded by Africans, would have helped the colony's advance, or Africans would have learnt earlier that the concept of development was more fundamental than setting up a ‘national bank’.