22 DECEMBER 1939, Page 30


It is apparent from Sir John Caulcutt's remarks at the Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) meeting that the sharp rise in the cash holding disclosed in the balance-sheet was the result of precautionary measures taken over a considerable period. At £34,663,000, Sir John explained, the cash holding was 32 per cent. of liabilities. That meant some sacrifice of earning assets but it put the bank in a position in which it could face all emergencies. Since September 3oth he stated, the value of investments had shown a material recovery, but he did not indicate whether trading conditions had allowed any redistribution of assets as between cash and advances.

As was to be expected, his view of prospects in the areas in which the bank operates was moderately hopeful. Prices of primary products have improved and in South Africa, despite the curbing effect of the Government's gold price policy, gold output was increasing and producers seemed to be safeguarded against any substantial rise in costs. While shareholders in this progressive bank may have to be

(Continued on page iii.)

FINANCE AND INVESTMENT (Continued from page 914) prepared for a pause in the steady rise in earnings which has characterised the pre-war period, they have legitimate grounds for confidence in the strength of the bank's position and its prospects in more normal times.

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