18 JANUARY 1879, Page 2

The annual meeting of the London and Westminster Bank, perhaps

the most important of all unlimited Joint-Stock Banks, was held on Wednesday, and the statements made by the Chair- man, Sir John Rose, have greatly reassured the public. This Bank, with its £26,000,000 of deposits, has stood a run for deposits which in six months has reduced their amount by £5,000,000. Nevertheless, it has increased its reserve fund till it is equal to half its capital, has divided 14 per cent.,. and is ready to pay all deposits at call, and at seven days' notice, after the seven days' notice, to the last shilling. It is owed £114,000 by the City of Glasgow Bank, but acknowledges and provides for it ; it has contracted its acceptance business to small dimen- sions, and it has no heavy, doubtful account outstanding. Sir John Rose promised that the shareholders should always know the worst, and stated that the Board were in favour of limiting the liability,—a statement which elicited general cheers,—though considerable notice to depositors must be given. The frankness of the statements made was most satisfactory, the prosperity of the London and Westminster Bank being almost as important to credit as that of the Bank of England ; but the Directors seem oversensitive about audit. What is it they wish, in that matter ? They said nothing, moreover, about another public demand,— namely, that no Director shall have sixpence in the way of loan from the Bank he directs, except upon Consols, or equivalent security. No Bank, so far as we have observed, has objected to limited liability, and it would appear, from a remark of Sir John Rose, that the Government is willing to remove all legal obstacles. A short compulsory law, allowing twelve months' notice, would be better, and in reality more acceptable to the Banks, than a permissive Bill.