The overseas and foreign banks in London

Quarterly Bulletin 1961 Q3
Published on 01 September 1961

The first banks established with head offices in London, but specifically intended to operate abroad, date from the 1830's. They were set up to serve a world in which London was a principal centre of trade, much of it between the United Kingdom and what were then its dependent territories. This country was the leading industrial nation, with a large domestic market for raw materials and food, favourably placed on the shipping routes between the primary producing countries and Europe; and its interest in the development of resources overseas encouraged the provision of both long-term capital and short-term finance which, in the circumstances of the time, helped to generate a large surplus on current account.

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