Banking in Western Europe

Banking in Western Europe

Banking in Western Europe

Banking in Western Europe

Excerpt

The aim of this book is to provide an account of the banking institutions of Western Europe, an account that will serve both as a source for students of comparative institutions and monetary policy and as a reference work for bankers and others who have not the leisure for research into the banking literature of individual countries. In general, it covers ordinary commercial banks, other financial businesses providing services substantially of a banking kind, central banks, and any other important official institutions granting credits and concerned in the implementation of monetary policy.

The contributors have academic rather than practical banking backgrounds, but they were selected partly for the closeness of their contacts with practical bankers over a long period. They share the common background of international thought on monetary problems, but there has been no regimentation in this respect, and minor diversities of view will be apparent at some points. To secure some uniformity of scope, they were asked the same questions, but they were allowed considerable latitude in their detailed methods of treating these questions. In general they were not shown each others' preliminary drafts, and the comparative element in the various chapters derives chiefly from the fact that the contributors all started with considerable knowledge of other systems besides those on which they were writing.

With two exceptions, the contributors do not belong to the countries of which they write. The disadvantages of this course had to be faced in order to ensure a reasonable degree of uniformity of approach, and in order to make the more mechanical tasks of editorship manageable. To overcome the disadvantages, repeated visits over a long period were desirable and, as far as possible, this condition has been met. Fortunately English has become substantially the international language of bankers; nevertheless, attention was paid to linguistic problems when the contributors were selected. Substantial grants for these visits have been made, over a number of years and on generous conditions, by the Houblon- Norman Fund . . .

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