A great private bank, Messrs. Attwood, Spooner, Marshall, and Co.,
of Birmingham, suspended payment last Friday, to the con- sternation of the district, which believed it as safe as the Bank of England. It appears from a statement made by Mr. Marshall's solicitor that the bank has been insolvent for twelve years, Mr. George Attwood having " fed " various speculations with its money until in 1853 he owed the bank 450,000/. The sum was reduced by the assignment of estates, but was still nearly 300,000/. when Mr. Spooner admitted the two brothers Marshall, and all set to work to clear off the liabilities, living themselves very quietly indeed. The effort failed, and an investigation of the bank's affairs, ordered to facilitate a junction with the Joint-Stock Bank, showed their affairs in this condition,—they owed 960,479/. and possessed 618,412/., even if every asset realized its full value. Th?, surviving partner, Mr. Marshall, therefore resolved to stop, and hopes to pay a dividend of 12s. in the pound, a hope which we fear from the schedule published will scarcely be realized. The distress occasioned by this failure has been very great, the benefit societies and. charitable institutions generally banking with the firm, but other banks have come forward liberally, and the creditors generally hope if they can keep the concern out of the Bankruptcy Court to save about half their money. It does not appear from the statements published that the firm in twelve years made any progress whatever towards paying off their debt, the interest on so large an amount apparently exhausting their profits.