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THE BANKS OF MASSACHUSETTS.
We are indebted to the Hon. Amasa Walker for a copy of the first annual report of the Bank Commissioners appointed by an act of the Legislature of Massachusetts, May 8th, 1851, from which it appears that the Commissioners have, during the year, examined twenty-seven banks of discount and circulation, and the same number of institutions for savings or savings banks. The whole number of the former, now in operation in Massachusetts, is 137, and the whole number of savings banks is 49, in all 186 institutions. The present capital of banks paid in is by the thirty-two banks in Boston $24,460,000; and by one hundred and five country banks, or banks out of Boston, $18,360,000—making a total bank capital in Massachusetts of $42,820,000being a larger banking capital than that of any other State in the Union, if we except New York. The Commissioners report :
The “general conduct and condition" of the banks examined are such that we can confidently speak of them as safe for depositors and the public, and generally profitable to stockholders. In most essential particulars, they are so managed as to promote the objects of their creation, in furnishing a sound currency, facilitating the transactions of business, and affording opportunities for investment in their stock, by corporations and individuals, with a confident reliance in their ability to afford liberal dividends of profits.
OF BANKS BORROWING FROM EACH OTHER. - The practice of banks borrowing money from each other upon interest, to enable them to sustain a high loan to their customers, continues to some extent. We regard the practice as objectionable as a matter of policy, if not a violation of the statute. Banks should stand upon their own legitimate resources, and not upon artificial relief derived from a transfer of deposits from localities where, or from institutions by which, they would be more usefully dispensed for the public interest in the form of loans. The withdrawal of such deposits in peculiar exigencies, cripples the banks which had received them, and the deposits thus made, perhaps by the inducement of a liberal allowance of interest, are as likely to prove causes of weakness, as sources of strength.
Banks DEALING IN EXCHANGE.—The profits of banking continue to be enhanced, in many of the institutions which have been examined, by dealing in exchange. By the fifty-ninth section of the thirty-sixth chapter of the Revised Statutes, banks are authorized, in discounting drafts or bills of exchange, in addition to the interest calculated according to the established rules of banking, to charge the “ existing rate of exchange between the place where the draft or bill may be discounted and the place where it is payable." By the fourth section of the act of April 25, 1838, the privilege of taking the "existing rate of exchange,” is extended so as to embrace notes of hand payable at any other places than where the banks are located.
There is no general rule observed in fixing the “ existing rate of exchange." In some cases, the amount taken is made to depend upon the time the paper has to run; in others, it is not. An inflexible adherence to the rule of taking the same rate for short as for long paper, operates practically with great severity upon certain classes of borrowers, who have pressing necessities for applying for bank loans. It is true that the law makes no distinction between long and short paper. The “existing rates of exchange” will vary with the seasons of the year and the fluctuations of business, and of course with the remoteness of places of payment. They are made to depend quite as much upon the demand for money ; until, not unfrequently, the elements of exchange are lost sight of, in the conventional rates which are arbitrarily assumed and applied.
We copy from the report the aggregates of twenty-six banks visited during 1851 by the Commissioners :
Loan at date Date of examination. Capital. Circulation. Deposits. Specie. of examination. 1851
$6,606,700 $3,650,035 $2,400,538 $521,228 $11,325,839 1850
4,890,800 3,269,762 2,161,004 361,736 8,196,176
results have been eminently successful. One institution only, before alluded to, which failed to effect the object for which it was established, long since ceased to exist
, and another has taken its place.
Of the “ general conduct and condition" of these institutions, (the Commissioners Bay,) we are able to state that they are in a safe "condition” for depositors, and, in their “ general conduct,” they are, in the main, accomplishing the benevolent purposes for which they were created.
The range of selection for investments, within the limits of the statutes, is wide, and hence they differ in character according to the preferences of various boards of investment.
In Great Britain, the deposits of savings banks are invested in government securities—the policy being to establish confidence in their safety, and, at the same time, to create an attachment in depositors, to the maintenance of the laws and institutions of the country. The wealthier classes there, as here, take a deep interest in them, be cause, in a wonderful degree, they diminish the evils of pauperism, and relieve the opulent classes from heavy pecuniary burdens. The philanthropist regards them with favor because they tend to promote frugality and providence in the habits of the people, to improve their morals, to cherish a sense of personal independence, and to diffuse numerous blessings through the community. A savings bank may be regarded as among the best institutions of modern times, and one which reflects honor upon the age.
In Massachusetts, savings banks were made subjects of general statute regulation, by the act of April 2, 1834. By the seventh section of that act, modes were pre scribed for the investment of deposits. These were incoporated into the seventyeighth section of the thirty-sixth chapter of the Revised Statutes, which is as follows: “ All such sums may be invested in the stock of any bank, incorporated under the authority of this Commonwealth, or of the United States, or may be loaded on interest to any such bank, or may be loaned on bond or notes, with collateral security of the stock of any of the said banks, at not more than 90 per cent of its par value ; or they may be invested in the public funds of this Commonwealth, or of the United States, or loaned on a pledge of any of the said funds ; or invested in loans to any county, or town, in this State, or in mortgages of real estate; provided, that the whole amount of stock, held by the institution at any one time, in any one bank, bọth by way of investment and as security for loans, shall not exceed one-half of the capital stock of such bank, and that not more than three quarters of the whole sum, deposited in the institution, shall be at any one time invested in mortgages of real estate."
By the seventy-ninth section of the same chapter of the Revised Statutes, it is pro vided that “if the moneys, held by any such corporation, cannot be conveniently invested in any or all of the modes herein before prescribed, then it shall be lawful to loan not exceeding one-half part of the amount thereof, on bonds or other personal se corities, with at least two sureties; provided, that the principal and sureties shall all be citizens of this Commonwealth, and resident therein."
By the act of March 5, 1841, “all savings banks and institutions for savings may make loans upon bonds or notes, with the pledge of the stock of any railroad company incorporated under the authority of this Commonwealth, the whole amount of whose capital is actually paid, such loan not to exceed 85 per centum of the par value of such stock ; provided, that no such loan shall be made upon the stock of any company whose road or franchise is subject to any mortgage or pledge; and provided
, further, that no loan shall be made on any railroad stocks, which stocks shall not
, at the time said loan is made, command at least their par value in the market, and do such bank or institution shall so loan more than 50 per cent of the amount of their deposits."
VALUE OF GOLD IN LONDON.
.per ounce .£3 17 9 Foreign silver ditto....
0 s 61 Gold coin, Portugal.
pieces 3 17 4 Ditto, doubloons, Patriot.
8 18 Ditto, Spanish
3 180 Ditto, Napoleons Ditto, 10 Guilder pieces...
3 16 Silver coin, Mexican and South American dollars..
4 104 Ditto, Spanish pillar dollars...
BANKS AND SAVINGS BANKS OF RHODE ISLAND.
We are indebted to the Hon. WILLIAM BEACH LAWRENCE, late Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, for a copy of the “ Abstract exhibiting the condition of the banks of Rhode Island on the 8th day of September, 1851, from the returns made to the General Assembly at its annual October Session.” From the abstracts, prepared by Hon. Mr. POTTER, Secretary of State, we learn that the banking capital of the State, actually paid in on the 8th of September, 1851, amounted to $12,906,160; of which the twenty-six banks in Providence had a capital of $9,518,810; and the forty-three banks out of Providence of $3,487,350.
We give below the aggregate resources and liabilities of all the banks in Rhode Island, distinguishing the Banks in Providence and the banks out of Providence, as follows:AGGREGATE CONDITION OF THE 26 BANKS IN, AND THE 43 BANKS OUT OF PROVIDENCE,
DUE FROM THE BANKS.
Capital stock actually paid in....
26 Banks in 43 Banks out of
Providence. Total-69 Banks. $9,518,810 00 $3,487,350 60 $12,906,160 60 1,831,339 75 1,245,661 00 3,077,000 75
159,496 85 46,234 62 205,731 47 1,133,590 04 527,811 94 1,661,401 98 831,798 43 102,411 64 934,210 07
21,409 84 21,440 78 42,850 62 592,708 94 189,919 57 782,628 51
Total amount of liabilities....... $14,000,193 99 $5,621,113 69 $19,621,307 68
RESOURCES OF THE BANKS.
Debts due from directors...
$261,914 39 $708,079 19 $969,993 58 Debts due from other stockholders.. 303,348 49 298,192 35 601,540 84 Debts due from all others...
12,031,936 87 4,267,914 70 16,299,851 57 Specie actually in bank.......
177,078 16 100,637 82 277,715 98 Bills of other banks....
525,464 24 100,841 69 626,305 93 Deposits in other banks...
428,464 04 200,569 37 629,033 41 Amount of stock held by bank.
1,484 50 35,621 20 37,105 70 Amount and description of stock a.. 36,356 47
83,447 87 119,704 34 Realestate...
184,867 52 86,673 62 271,541 14 Other property..
6,309 28 7,581 51
13,890 79 Total amount of resources. ...... $14,000,193 99 *$5,610,365 17 *19,610,559 16 Increase of capital since last return. 447,390 00 147,292 50 594,682 50 Amount of dividend...
319,150 26 120,604 15 489,754 41 Amount of suspended paper b...
82,332 58 118,065 78 Reserved profits c.......
392,575 30 135,160 12 527,735 42 Amount loaned d...
156,550 94 236,872 18 393,423 12 Debts due and not paid.
119,598 93 279,424 98
399,023 91 Amount of bills e.
669,977 40 313,443 25 983,420 65 Average semi-annual dividend of banks in Providence.......
3 11-16 of banks out of Providence.
3 91-164 of all the banks......
SAVINGS BANKS OF RHODE ISLAND.
According to the report referred to above, there are eight Savings Banks in Rhode Island; one at Providence, one at Newport, one at Bristol, one at Pawtucket, one at
• $10,748 52 deficiency in Granite Bank, to balance. a In other banks, and of other stock, owned by the bank. b Considered bad or doubtful. • At the time of the last dividend. d On pledges of stock in the bank. e In circulation under five dollars,
Warwick, one at East Greenwich, one at Woonsocket, and one at Wakefield. The whole number of depositors in these banks, on the first Monday in October, 1861, was 11,161 of which there were of sums under $100, 6,356; of $100 and under $200, 2,332, of $200 and under $500, 2,736 ; of $500 and under $1,000, 646; of $1,000 and up
! wards, 89. We give below the aggregate condition of all the Savings Banks in Rhode Island, as follows:
AGGREGATE OF SAVINGS INSTITUTIONS. Deposits
$1,907,233 81 Of cash on hand......... $26,718 02 Profits on hand..
109,603 26. Of loans to various corpo
161,158 00 $2,016,837 07 Deposits drawing interest. 20.000 N Invested in bonds and mort
Premiums for bank stock.. 1,666 19 gages..
$1,241,050 01 Invested in stocks. 461,393 95
$2,016,837 0 Secured by stocks...
3,000 00 Of reserved profits 59,454 14 Loaned on personal security 101,855 97 Of last dividends....... *70,314 %
VIRGINIA STATE DEBT, MARCH 20, 1852.
12,639,419 March 20, 1852, Bonds registered since January 1, in office of 2d Auditor 879,517
Total funded debt, March 20, 1852
Funded debt and valid subscriptions....,
Total debt and liabilities.....
Held by the State in bank stocks at par....
“ Internal Improvement Stocks and Bonds..
RECEIPTS OF THE FUND FOR INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT. Dividends derived in 1851, (year ending September 30):
From $14,016,919 stocks and bonds... From $375.912 interest on State Scrip.. On bank stock.....
$91,306 Bonus from banks...
Deduct salaries, surveys, and other expenses
Probable increase for 1853......
Estimated receipt of the fund for 1853....... The constitutional requirement for interest and sinking fund on State debt is part cent per annum. The above does not include the expenses of the government of the State, nor the revenue derived from taxes to pay the ordinary expenses of this government,
• Amount of dividend not stated in the return for East Greenwich Institution.
CONDITION OF THE BANKS OF NEW ORLEANS, MARCH, 1852. We give below a statement of the condition of the banks in New Orleans on the 27th of March, 1852, from the official statement of Charles Gayarre, Secretary of State, and George McWhorter, State Treasurer. For a similar statement of the condition of the s; me banks on the 28th of February, 1852, see Merchants' Magazine for April, 1852, (vol. xxvi., page 474 :-)
Mr. Francis TURNER, one of the Assessors at New Orleans, furnishes the following
$5,443,040 $484,950 $163,080 $3,347 Second.. 6,536,570 669,680
18,154,900 530,850 6,904,775 54,443 Fourth.
8,529,200 421,850 2,417,650 15,356 Fifth .. 7,593,950 774,550
650,700 13,032 Sixth 4,295,850 645,100
6,483 Seventh.. 2,823,770 280,750
4,014 Eighth 2,447,900 359,400
2,845 Ninth... 2,447,900 359,100