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Title: An investigation of lending at the Royal Bank of Scotland, 1878-1914
Author: Li, Fan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 2305
Awarding Body: University of the West of Scotland
Current Institution: University of the West of Scotland
Date of Award: 2013
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine lending at the Royal Bank of Scotland during the years between the collapse of the City of Glasgow Bank and the First World War (1878-1914), based on the bank's archives. It aims to analyze the Royal Bank's position compared with other Scottish banks and Scottish banking in general, and in relation to different economic sectors, including the staple industries of the period. '. This study utilizes not only balance sheet figures and other aggregate figures produced by the bank itself, but also statistical figures sourced from the applications for new advances recorded in the directors' minutes of the bank, which are complete for the period. Various charts and tables have been drawn in order to analyze trends, ratios and percentages. The thesis therefore examines Scottish bank lending at a greater level of detail than has been undertaken before in historical studies in this area. Many important issues concerning banking or the economy during the period studied are reviewed and discussed in the context of the Royal Bank's experience, including Checkland's argument for the Scottish banks' "years of complacency", the British banks' "failure to service industry", the alleged "agricultural decline" and the alleged "underfunding" of domestic industry. The thesis reveals that the Royal Bank's performance in lending was better than some previous studies have suggested. Its performance was fairly typical of the other Scottish banks, even compared with the Bank of Scotland, which was considered the leading Scottish bank during the period. The study has found that Bank of Scotland's comparative performance has in fact been exaggerated. Although in some respects the Royal did show a high level of caution and conservatism, the notion that the Scottish banks lent only short-term to well-established customers is incorrect in the Royal's case. Limited companies, overdrafts and international merchants were well supported, but overall the expansion of advances was a mix of successes and setbacks. The thesis provides a basis for further studies in Scottish banking history, offering an appropriate methodological approach to future scholars for the evaluation of lending.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available