It's exaggerated. The Templars went much further than other religious institutions of their time in providing safe deposits for money and valuables, loans, and money transfers. They were involved in such 'banking' activities throughout western and southern Europe and the crusaders' lands in the Middle East before the famous Italian banking houses became international. Otherwise, like other religious institutions of their time, they were farmers and estate managers, they kept sheep, cattle, horses, pigs and poultry, they grew wheat and barley and brewed cider and beer. Like other religious institutions they were given underused land in order to colonise it and make it productive.

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