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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

78          OUR BANKING MACHINERY

no consideration for the needs of the provincial
users of credit. These latest amalgamations, which
have united banks which already had head offices
in London, gave less cause than usual for these
provincial apprehensions, which had far more solid
reason behind them when purely provincial banks
were amalgamated with institutions whose head
office was in London. Nevertheless, the argument
was heard that the great size and scale on which
these amalgamated banks were bound to work
would necessarily make them more monopolistic
and bureaucratic in their outlook, and less elastic
and adaptable in their dealings with their local
customers.

It seems to me that there is so far very little
solid ground for any apprehension on the part of
the business community that the recent development
of banking evolution will tend to any damage to
their interests. The banks have grown in size with
the growth of industry. As industry has tended
more and more to be worked by big battalions, it
became necessary to have banking institutions with
sufficiently large resources at their command to
meet the great requirements of the huge industrial
organisations that they had to serve. Nevertheless,
the tendency towards fewer banks and bigger figures
has grown with extraordinary celerity, as the follow-
ing table shows: