Foreign Credit Facilities in the United Kingdom: A Sketch of Post-War Development and Present Status

By Leland Rex Robinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII PURPOSE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF BRITISH INVESTMENT TRUSTS

THE English and Scottish Investment Trusts have been the most important factor in the export of capital from the United Kingdom. This is true of the Dominions and Colonies as well as of every foreign nation whose resources have been developed by British advances. A résumé of the activities of these "trusts" should prove suggestive to American investors, as our country has drawn upon the coffers of England more heavily than any other, and we have at last attained our creditor position at a time when the rest of the world is much in need of our capital.

Owing to the lack of basic information in the United States concerning the organization and management of these important institutions, it seems advisable to deal with them at length. For this reason the greater part of the following chapters is devoted to an analysis of British investment trusts, of which our bankers and business men may sooner or later develop the American equivalent.

The investment trust, which is also called a "financial trust ", or "trust company" in England, is not the British equivalent of the American trust company. The latter has been aptly termed "The Department Store of Finance ", while the former is largely an investment company, departing little, even in its corporate form, from the more strict interpretation of the term "trust". Of the wide variety of services rendered by the typical state trust company in the American system--banking, fiduciary, agency, and in-

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