The Secondary Banking Crisis, 1973–75: Its Causes and Course by Margaret Reid

By Margaret Reid

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Slater Walker Securities, Vavasseur and Jessel Securities -which also had insurance and industrial interests - were among those active in this area. Ownership of some unit trust management companies was however to change hands in the crisis years. The expansive financial era of the 1960s and early 1970s brought inventive variations on existing investment themes and new refinements of investment media for personal savers, including bonds - usually of a life often years for the sake of tax advantages -which were often geared to investment in property, equity shares or a mixture of several types of assets.

The clearing banks' interest rate cartel would be dropped, so that each bank would fix its own rates in the context of market conditions. 5 per cent minimum ratio of reserve assets, such as balances with the Bank of England, Treasury Bills, short bonds and other near-cash items (but not till money) to liabilities. The Bank of England was to be able to call on all banks (not just the clearers) to place a proportion of their assets with it as Special Deposits; this was seen as a measure to influence their capacity to lend.

The principle is ... ' Underlining the mutual dependence of the new sterling money markets and of the wholesale ('secondary') banking sector, he noted: 'The growth of the new parallel money markets and the spectacular growth of the deposits of secondary banks are inextricably intertwined ... Secondary banking could not exist without an active inter-bank market'. In a prophetic reference to the dangers which arose later when fringe banks tapped the unsecured money markets excessively, he added: 'The bank which is placing a deposit with another bank ...

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