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British Multinational Banking, 1830-1990$
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Geoffrey Jones

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206026

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206026.001.0001

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War and Depression

War and Depression

(p.136) CHAPTER 5 War and Depression
British Multinational Banking, 1830-1990

Geoffrey Jones

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the situation of the British multinational banks in the period of political and economic crisis in the world economy, particularly between 1914 and 1946. The most striking characteristic of the history of the British multinational banks in this period was that they and their branch networks largely survived intact. Their strong corporate cultures enabled them to respond effectively to harsh conditions. Their reserves also helped them survive when the Great Depression and the financial crisis of 1931 struck. Moreover, the use of off-balance sheet transfers enabled banks to maintain confidence in the face of severe business fluctuations. The changes in the world economy between 1914 and 1946 proved the continued viability of the nineteenth-century structure of British multinational banking.

Keywords:   political crisis, economic crisis, world economy, war, corporate cultures, reserves, Great Depression, off-balance sheet transfer, multinational banking

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