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From the report of December 2 you will see that the capital of the one hundred and twenty-four State banks was $9,522,420.
This capital is owned by 4,234 shareholders and is divided as follows: 1,210 owning $500 and less.
1,217 owning more than $500, up to and including $1,000. 687 owning more than $1,000, up to and including $2,000. 336 owning more than $2,000, up to and including $3,000. 127 owning more than $3,000, up to and including $4,000. 281 owning more than $4,000, up to and including $5,000. 376 owning more than $5,000.
The above table shows that 2,427 or more than half of the total number of shareholders own $1,000 or less, of the stock of the Michigan State banks, showing that the stock is widely distributed, and evidently held by persons of small means.
Of the one hundred and nineteen banks reporting Sept. 25, eighty-two were savings banks or banks with savings departments.
These reported on that day their savings deposits as $29,887,760.81, and the number of savings depositors as 150,326. The average rate of interest paid these depositors was 3 and 77-100 per cent.
The Commissioner finds himself under obligations to Hon. Austin E. Wing, National Bank Examiner for this State, for assistance rendered and valuable information furnished, in regard to certain national banks, with which State banks were closely connected.
Without the information so obtainted it would have been difficult to have had as complete a knowledge of the condition of the several State banks as this department desires.
In this connection I will also state that in order to give an intelligent and complete report of the banking business of the State, I have in the succeeding pages given a detailed report of the different national banks of the State, as furnished this department, September 25, and December 2, 1891.
This is done for the reason that many national banks are the reserve
agents for State banks, and therefore it is necessary that their condition be known to this department, as well as to the banks who deposit with them their reserve.
I would also call your attention to a fact, which seems not to be clearly understood by the general public, and that is, the duties of an examiner. In no sense is he a detective, nor is he required by law to do detective work. His duties are explicitly defined in section 39 of the banking law, viz.:
"It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of the banking department, and he shall have power for himself, his deputy, or any examiner he may appoint for that purpose, to examine once in each year the cash, bills, collaterals or securities, books of account, condition and affairs of each bank under the law, and also when requested by the the board of directors of any bank. For that purpose he may examine, on oath, any of the officers, agents, clerks, customers or depositors of such bank touching the affairs and business of such bank. Any willful false swearing in any examination shall be deemed perjury. He shall also ascertain whether each bank transacts its business at the place designated in the articles of incorporation, and whether its business is conducted in the manner prescribed by law."
From this section it will be seen that the examiner's duties are to ascertain if the bank is solvent, and if its business is conducted in the manner prescribed by law.
In the line of his duty the examiner often finds certain irregularities that have not been discovered by the officers or directors-whose duty it is to look after the affairs of the institution they represent-but this is incidental to, rather than the motive prompting an examination, the primary object of which is to ascertain if the bank is transacting its business in accordance with the provisions of law, and nowhere is he required to detect criminals, or determine the quality of securities, which duty properly belongs to the board of directors.
It would be unreasonable to expect anything more from an examiner, whose visit at a bank seldom exceeds three or four days each year, which is too short a time to examine into the genuineness or quality of the securities or to study the character and habits of the employés of the Bank.
In my report of last year, I asked that a law be enacted preventing private bankers using the word "bank" or advertising themselves under a corporate name or title.
I would again call attention to this matter and I am satisfied that no reasonable objection can be urged against the adoption of a law that simply compels private banks to use a corporate name instead of an individual or firm name in their business. Private bankers who use a corporate name certainly advertise their doubts of the sufficiency of their individual or firm names in building up a business.
It has been suggested that a separate law governing private bankers be enacted. While such a law might have its advantages, I am inclined to think that with two State banking laws, each granting privileges to one