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the establishment of domestic banking corporations. During the year 1919 the Board has held 40 meetings and heard 54 applications and has visited 2 localities in which it was desired to establish such corporations or branch offices. Twenty-one applications were granted, 16 were refused, and 17 held in abeyance. These hearings have been upon 20 applications for new trust companies, 15 applications for new co-operative banks, 6 applications for new credit unions and 1 application for a new savings bank, beside additional hearings held for the purpose of determining changes of name, operating trust departments and establishing branch offices.
Credit unions were authorized in this Commonwealth by chapter 419 of the Acts of 1909, and on May 1, 1910, the Myrick Credit Union of Springfield commenced business, being the first credit union to begin operations, although not the first to which a charter was granted. In the eleven years since the above-named act went into effect, the Board of Bank Incorporation has granted certificates to 90 credit unions, 60 of which are now in operation; 8 have not as yet commenced to do business; 5 are in possession of the Bank Commissioner acting under the provisions of chapter 399, Acts of 1910; 2 have been liquidated by the Bank Commissioner by authority of the same act; and 15 have dissolved in conformity with the provisions of the act governing credit unions.
The Legislature of 1915, on May 20 of that year, repealed chapter 419, Acts of 1909, and since that date credit unions are subject to the provisions of chapter 268, General Acts of 1915.
Credit unions making reports to this department showing their condition at the close of business October 31, 1919, numbered 60, an increase of 1 since October 31, 1918. These reports show aggregate assets of $2,791,165.75, an increase of $813,386.81. The total membership is shown as 22,987, an increase of 5,351. There was paid during the year as dividends to shareholders the sum of $29,656.07, and as interest on savings accounts the sum of $44,975.10. Since the previous report the La Caisse Populaire de Lawrence Credit Union has commenced business, as has also the Crescent Credit Union of Brockton, to which a charter was granted on June 18, 1919. A certificate was issued to the Ranfac Credit Union of Boston, but this union had not opened for business on October 31, 1919. In Novem
ber, 1918, the Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours Credit Union changed its corporate title to Holyoke Credit Union. The Peabody Hebrew Credit Union, the Salem Investment and Credit Union, the Lynn United Hebrew Credit Union, and the Peoples Credit Union of Lynn are still in possession of the Bank Commissioner, their affairs remaining in the same condition as at the time of the previous report, no money having been received on their account since that time.
I am of the opinion that the affairs of credit unions are now conducted in an efficient manner, and that there is a better understanding by the various officers of their duties and of their obligations to the members of the unions whom they represent; but I am still impressed with the danger that exists for credit unions, since the majority of the loans are made to those who possess but little more than their health and good character. However, the reports of 1919 show that, since the report of 1918, loans have been made to a total amount of $2,153,842, and from the examinations made during the year it appears that the losses incurred have been practically negligible. This amount of money loaned among a membership of about 23,000, and to, probably, more than 10,000 borrowers whose financial standing was such as to preclude the possibility of loans from other financial institutions, must have done a very great amount of good and have been a very present help in time of need to many people. It must also be considered that $44,975 was distributed in interest and $29,656 paid as dividends, with $26,826 more held as undivided earnings to be given out as dividends in November, a great deal of which went, or is to go, to persons who had, previous to the introduction of credit unions, never acquired the habit of saving. I am, therefore, convinced that there is much to be said in favor of credit unions.
Aggregate Statement of Condition October 31, 1919, of 60 Credit Unions, as compared with a Similar Statement on October 31, 1918, 59 Credit Unions.
Receipts and Disbursements during Year ending October 31, 1919-60 Credit
PERSONS, PARTNERSHIPS, ASSOCIATIONS OR CORPORATIONS SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 428, ACTS OF 1905, AND ACTS IN AMENDMENT THEREOF AND ADDITION THERETO.
Conditions have improved among this class of bankers since the previous report, but they continue to have troubles. The fluctuation in the value of lire exchange has caused sleepless nights for some of the Italian bankers, although they have all come through without financial loss. Among the bankers who have a following of those of Russian, Austrian, Polish and Lithuanian birth, the same uncertainty exists as in 1918. Thousands of remittances have been made to these countries, delivery of which cannot be shown, and it is probable that the consequent loss will fall upon the remitters. This loss, while small in individual cases, will, as a whole, amount to a great deal of money. It is interesting to note the amount of money which went to Portugal and the Azores during the year, totaling over $3,000,000, an increase of more than $1,500,000 over the amount sent in the preceding twelve months. As nearly the entire amount was sent from New Bedford, Fall River and Lowell, it would seem that not all of the earnings of the mill workers in these cities went to meet the high cost of living. It is also interesting to note that the money sent to Italy totaled $12,079,905, which was $5,055,215 more than in the preceding twelve months; of this amount $4,876,706 was sent for deposit in the Italian Postal Savings Bank. In addition to the money sent to Italy, the Italians in this State have invested an amount probably nearly as large in bonds of the Italian government of different issues. As the money paid for these bonds is not included in the totals of money reported as sent to Italy from residents in this Commonwealth, it is plain that the cost of living among the people of Italian descent has not kept pace with the increased compensation received by them.
Reports were received from 77 bankers, 50 of whom were holding money received for safe-keeping to a total amount of $3,187,506, which was $348,870 more than was held by these bankers at the time of the preceding report. The total amount sent to foreign countries during the twelve months preceding November 1, 1919, was $17,251,870, an increase of $7,802,138.
During the fiscal year there was collected as license fees and paid
The following table is compiled from the last five annual reports made to this department, and shows the amount of money forwarded to various countries during each of the years covered by those reports:
AMOUNT FORWARDED DURING YEAR ENDING
Oct. 31, 1919. Oct. 31, 1918. Oct. 31, 1917. Oct. 31, 1916. Oct. 30, 1915.
$17,251,870 $9,449,732 $10,106,900 $7,381,119 $5,486,893
I hereby make the following recommendations for consideration and action by the General Court for the ensuing year:
1. Recent legislation authorizes savings banks, institutions for savings and trust companies in their savings departments to declare and pay dividends or interest to their depositors as often as once a month, provided the interest has been earned and collected. The present statute requires that the trustees of savings banks cause an examination of the income, profits and expenses of such bank to be made for the current six months immediately preceding the declaration of a dividend. If a savings bank desires to avail itself of the authority to change from the semi-annual dividend periods to shorter periods, the examination to determine the profits and expenses should be made for those periods. I therefore recommend that section 61 of chapter 590 of the Acts of 1908 be amended to meet the new conditions.
2. The statute provides that trust companies shall not make a loan to any one person in excess of a certain proportion of its capital stock and surplus. The spirit of the law is to prevent too large a part of its capital being invested in one place or enterprise. By making