HC Deb 04 February 1941 vol 368 cc794-6
36. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, since the outbreak of war, he has received the full co-operation and support of the principal banks both in London and the provinces; whether he is satisfied by the effort made by the banks to strengthen and maintain wartime credit; and whether the response of the banks to requests and suggestions from the Treasury and public Departments has been satisfactory?

Sir K. Wood

The answer to all parts of the Question is in the affirmative.

37. Sir P. Hannon

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total sum lent by the five leading banks to the Government since the beginning of the war, including the increase in balance-sheet totals, sums released by the decline in call money, bills and advances, investments in Government securities and loans on Treasury deposit receipts?

Sir K. Wood

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Sir P. Hannon

Does the Chancellor agree that his Answer indicates the extent to which the banks of this country are co-operating with the Government in raising funds for the war?

Sir K. Wood

Yes, Sir. That is what my answer does.

Following is the answer:

The published accounts of the five leading banks do not enable me to state precisely the amounts lent by them direct to the Government since the beginning of the war, but the following figures will give my hon. Friend an indication of the sums involved. In the period between August, 1939, and December, 1940, the deposits of the five leading banks increased by £473,000,000, which together with a decrease in advances of £59,000,000 increased their liquid resources by £532,000,000. Cash balances, money at call, etc., and cheques in course of collection, increased by £130,000,000 and the balance of £402,000,000 was accounted for by an increase of £262,000,000 in bills discounted (consisting almost exclusively of Treasury bills and Treasury deposit receipts), and an increase of £142,000,000 in investments (almost exclusively in Government securities).