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banks]

BANKING 115 the fact that every bank in the United. Kingdom has an of over £15,000,000 and deposits of nearly £55,000,000. agent in London. If we add to the returns of the These banks have 431 offices. In Austraha London Clearing House those of the Clearing Houses in the and Hew Zealand there are 18 banks with Colonial large towns of England, in Ireland and Scotland, and the capitals of fully £25,000,000 and deposits of Banksnumerous exchanges which occur daily, and the large about £114,000,000. The number of offices is more than number which the different offices of banks with a 1400. There are, including the 3 Presidency Banks, great many branches settle among themselves and the about 7 banks doing business mainly in India—in some number drawn by one customer of a bank and paid to cases connecting neighbouring countries and places like Turnover anot^er> we may f°rm some notion of the vast Bangkok, Hong Kong and Zanzibar. These banks have amount of the yearly turnover of banks. This capitals of about £6,000,000 and deposits of £30,000,000 may roughly be estimated in all as at least twice as great and 43 offices. There are at least 4 banks in South as that registered by the London Clearing House. The Africa with capitals of £4,380,000, deposits of £23,000,000, earliest authentic statement as to the clearing is found in and 163 offices. There are 7 banks, principally in South the Appendix to Second Repoi't, Committee of House of America, with £6,410,000 capital, £37,000,000 deposits, Commons, Banks of Issue, 1841 :— and 56 offices. There are 4 large banks doing business In 1839, the clearings were £954,401,600, 29 banks. principally in the East with more than £11,000,000 In 1840, „ „ „ 978,496,800, 28 banks. capital, £48,000,000 deposits, and 73 offices; and two In 1899, „ „ „ 9,150,269,000, 19 banks. other large banks, Barings and the Colonial Bank, with In 1900, „ ,, ,, 8,960,170,000, 19 banks. nearly £2,000,000 capital, £37,000,000 deposits,—the Estimates have been made of the amount of business latter with 21 offices, doing business mainly with North turnover which does not pass through the London Clearing and South America. House. This would include the large number of cheques In this statement we have only included the larger drawn by one customer of a bank in favour of another banks. These collectively wield about £70,000,000 of customer of the same bank; of exchanges between banks capital and more than £340,000,000 of deposits—in all in the same place; of the sums passed in the same way more than £410,000,000 of resources operating at nearly through the Clearing Houses in the larger cities, as Man- 2200 different places as widely separated from each other chester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and other places in in distance as California and Hong Kong, Constantinople Scotland and in Ireland ; and cheques paid in different and Hew Zealand. The resources of these banks, which manners. It is believed that these amounts may fully are principally British in origin, may, though the disequal the sums paid through the London bankers’ clearings. tricts in which they operate are generally far distant from The increase in the clearings is striking; but it is on the United Kingdom, be considered as supplementary to the deposits that attention must be fixed. The deposits are the mainstay of the banking of the United Kingdom. English banking. On the way they are employed and on their fluidity the France. prosperity of the country greatly depends. By the assistFrance the first bank of issue was established ance they give, all the new business of the country has to in In1/16 by John Law, the author of the Mississippi. be established as well as all the old business maintained. Flan and the System. Law’s bank came to an end in In the year 1901 the most important requirement of 1721; an attempt at reconstruction was made in 1767, banking in the United Kingdom was still the establishment but the bank thus established was suppressed in 1793’ of an efficient specie reserve. The reserve in the banking Other banks, some issuing notes, then carried on operadepartment of the Bank of England, which averaged tions with limited success, but these never attained any £21,455,000 in 1900, £21,000,000 in 1899, £22,000,000 real strength. There were many negotiations on the in 1898, provides but a narrow basis for the whole business subject of the establishment of a bank in 1796. The requirements of the country. Though it is much larger difficulties of the times prevented any immediate than the reserve kept before 1893, which had for several financial result, but the advice of those engaged in this plan was of years been completely inadequate, it cannot yet be conassistance to Napoleon I, who, aided by his minister sidered sufficient. The gold held was actually less to- great Mollien, founded in 1800 the Bank of France, by far the wards the close of 1900 than at the corresponding date in most powerful financial institution in the country, to sup1876. The figures were :— port the trade and industry of France and to supply the 1st November 1876 . . . £32,190,735 use of loanable capital at a moderate charge. These 7th November 1900 . . . 29.968,945 functions it has exercised ever since with great vigour, Beyond this there is the cash held by the other banks. extending itself through its branches and towns attached Part of this is held in the form of balances at the Bank to branches over the whole country. At its establishment of England, and in notes of the Bank of England, and the operations of the bank did not extend over the whole hence is not unlikely to be estimated twice over unless of France. Departmental banks, with the privilege of care is taken to separate these sums from the specie issue, had been formed under a law adopted in 1803. actually in the hands of other banks. The published At the close of 1847 there were nine of these banks existfigures on this point are meagre. Private inquiries, ing in as many of the larger towns. In 1848, however, however, lead to the belief that an amount of about they were absorbed into the Bank of France, which has 10 per cent, of the deposits may be held in balances since possessed an exclusive privilege of issue, and in 1863 at the Bank of England, in specie and Bank of England took over the Bank of Savoy after that province was notes. This would amount, if this belief is correct, to united to France. The Bank of France has successfully a sum of not less than £80,000,000. The subject is of surmounted many political as well as financial troubles such importance that it is to be hoped that authoritative both during and since the times of Napoleon I. The figures will before long be published. overthrow of the government of Louis Philippe in 1848, As regards the banks in which British interests are the war with Germany in 1870, the many difficulties that concerned in British colonies and other countries we followed when the Commune reigned in Paris in can only speak briefly. It must not be overlooked that 1871, the payment of the war indemnity—com- ptancf m the Dominion of Canada there are 14 large banks, pleted in 1873—were all happily surmounted. managed much on the Scottish principle with capitals Great pains, too, have been taken, especially of recent