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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

THE   SENTIMENTAL   ASPECT          Si

there is available, and it will always be the duty of
the banker to ensure that the country's industry is
kept on a sound basis by checking the tendency of
the eager business man to undertake rather more
than is good for him. From the sentimental point
of view it is certainly a pity to have seen many of
the picturesque old private banks extinguished, the
partners in which were in close personal touch with
their customers, and entered into the lives of the
local communities in a manner which their modern
counterpart is perhaps unable to do. Nevertheless,
it is difficult to get away from the fact that if these
institutions had been as efficient and as well managed
as their admirers depict them to have been they
would hardly have been driven out of existence by
the stress of modern developments and competition.
Whatever we may think of modern competition, in
certain of its aspects, we may at least be sure of this
—that it does not destroy an institution which is
really wanted by the business community. And if
the complaint of local interests is true, that they are
swamped by the cosmopolitan aspirations of the
great London offices, they always have it in their
power to create an institution of the kind that they
want, and by giving it their business to ensure for
it a prosperous career. As long as no such tendency
is visible in the banking world we may be pretty
sure that the views expressed concerning the neglect
of local interests by the enormous banks which have
grown up with London centres in the last thirty
years is to a great extent a myth. It has now
been announced, however, that the whole problem