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British BankingContinuity and Change from 1694 to the Present$
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Ranald C. Michie

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727361.001.0001

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Complications and Co-operation, 1914–1945

Complications and Co-operation, 1914–1945

(p.125) 5 Complications and Co-operation, 1914–1945
British Banking

Ranald C. Michie

Oxford University Press

Between 1914 and 1945 the British banking system withstood the effects of two world wars, and a global financial crisis. It proved to be highly resilient despite Britain being heavily engaged in both wars and adversely affected by the global depression. British banks had to cope with a depressed economy in both the 1920s and 1930s during which many, once strong businesses experienced difficult trading conditions leading to low profitability and even to losses and failure. The performance of the British banking system between 1914 and 1945 established its reputation for being the most stable and trusted in the world, as all was accomplished without direct government assistance or failures among the largest banks. What did develop was a growing accusation that British banking failed to support British manufacturing industry at a time of major difficulty; contributing to the high unemployment of those years.

Keywords:   First World War, Second World War, Wall Street Crash, global depression, Gold Standard, 1920s, 1930s, Bank of England

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