Full text: Referendum on the report of the Special Federal Reserve Committee

The present system is an attempt to obtain with decentralization National Needs 
the advantages of centralization as to matters of national, not regional, 
importance—note issue and the relation of the supply of credit to 
shifting economic conditions. It can fairly be argued that the prob- 
lems of today are so different from those of 1913, and the international 
relationships of the country have so altered, that it has become timely 
to consider once more the advantages of a single central bank so 
organized and directed as to be quickly and effectively responsive to 
needs. It can also be fairly argued that the regional banks are not now 
The federal reserve system was created, in 1913, when the United States was 
committed in theory and practice to decentralized banking, with a great number of 
separate units. The reserve system as created has not prevented new tendencies from 
developing to such a point that federal legislation in 1927 definitely recognized branch 
banking, on the part of national banks, and the federal official charged with super- 
vision of national banks has now come forward, in December, 1929, with a proposal 
that national banks should be allowed to have branches within their trade areas, the 
trade areas in some instances being coextensive with federal reserve district lines. He 
is led to this proposal, he says, in the interest of a safe and sound system of banking 
in communities and areas where there are signs unit banking is having difficulty in 
supporting itself. 
On June 30, 1913, there were 7,473 national banks. The number rose gradually 
‘0 8,246 on June 30, 1922, but has since declined and on October 4, 1929, was back 
at 7,473. In June, 1913, the total number of banks—those under state charters as 
well as those under national charters—was 25,993 and their total resources were 
$25,712,000,000, of which the resources of the national banks were 42%. On June 
30, 1929, the resources of all banks, state and national, aggregated $ 
of which the resources of the national banks were 38%. 
In June, 1922, the number of banks in the federal reserve system reached its 
maximum, 9,859; the resources of these member banks then were $31,723,000,000. 
The national banks, which were included, as national banks are compelled to have 
membership in the reserve system, made up 84% of the number and had 62% of the 
resources. On October 4, 1929, the number of member banks was 8,616, and their 
total resources were $47,305,000,000; the percentage of national banks was 869% and 
their resources constituted approximately 62% of the total. 
The growth of chain banking has occurred in recent years, being so new, in fact, 
that the first attempt at comprehensive statistics seems to have been made in a report 
presented in October, 1929, to the American Bankers Association by its Economic 
Policy Commission. According to that report, seven percent of the banks of the 
country, possessing around seventeen percent of the total banking resources, are now in 
chains, some 272 in number with 1,784 units. 
Init Banking 
Number of Banks 
Banking Resources 
Uember Banks 
Chain Banking 
Upon this general subject the President of the United States said in the message 
which he addressed to Congress in early December, 1929: 
(Continued on page 13)

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