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finance not equalled by any other institutions. England, France, and some other countries have kindred institutions, but nowhere have they grown to such vast proportions as in the United States.
The investigation, the results of which are now under consideration, comprehends practically all building and loan associations in the United States, An effort was made to secure the facts for these associations as they existed at the end of their respective fiscal years nearest to Janary 1, 1893. In a few cases, however, this was not possible, and the facts for an earlier or later fiscal year Tere taken instead.
The number of associations considered in the preparation of the tab. ular statements in this report was 5,838, of which 5,598 were local and 240 national. A presentation of these associations, distributed accord ing to states and territories and showing the per cent of the local and the national in each state and territory and in the United States, immediately follows :
15 21 26 21 31
8. 70 27. 91
5. 68 3.63 8.99 1. 39 11.49 7. 14
81 71 131
26 29 237 115 72 82 30 319
29 240) 115 75 97
46 6. 25 4.64 12.50 5. 71
1 16 286
5 390 24
6.70 4.00 16. 67
5 418 25
17 1, 079
6 48 17 78 41
3 17 2
17. 65 21. 79
In addition to the associations from which the data have been received that constitute the body of this report, the Department has information of the existence of some others. From a very few of these some details were obtained, but from most of them nothing. The information as to the existence even of most of them is from hearsay only. They are unimportant, being either newly formed or feeble. Nearly all are supposed to be local. The following statement shows the number of these associations in the various states and territories:
Alabama, 2; California, 1; Georgia, 1; Illinois, 16; Indiana, S; Iowa, 1; Kansas, 4; Louisiana, 1; Maryland, 6; Massachusetts, 1; Michigan, 3; Minnesota, 2; Mississippi, 1; Missouri, 1; Montana, 2; Nebraska, 3; North Carolina, 1; North Dakota, 1; Ohio, 3; Oklahoma, 1; Pennsylvania, 23; Utah, 1; Vermont, 1; Virginia, 2; West Virginia, 2; Wisconsin, 1; Wyoming, 2. Total, 91.
The preceding table shows that reports were obtained from 5,838 associations in all, including locals and nationals. Bringing the general results of the investigation into as brief a space as possible, we have the following statement:
a Associations not reporting, local, 1,503 ; national, 60; total, 1,569.
The total dues paid in on instalment shares in force plus the profits on the same of the building and loan associations of the country, as stated, amount to $450,667,594. A business represented by this great sum, conducted quietly, with little or no advertising, and, as stated, without the experienced banker in charge, shows that the common people, in their own ways, are quite competent to take care of their savings, especially when it is known that but 35 of the associations now in existence showed a net loss at the end of their last fiscal year and that this loss amounted to only $23,332.20. Of course, associations disband for the want of business or from some other cause, but when they disband loss does not occur, because the whole business of the association consists of its loans, and these loans are to its own shareholders, as a rule, who hold the securities in their associated forms. A disbanded association, therefore, simply returns to its own members their own property.
The terms local and national bave been used. A local building and loan association and a national building and loan association conduct their business under substantially the same method. The local association, however, confines its operations to a small community, usually to the county in which located, while the national operates on a large scale, extending its business enterprise far beyond the borders of its own state even. The national is ready usually to make loans on property anywhere and sell its shares to any person without reference to his residence. At the present time the prejudice which has existed for many years against nationals is being overcome, and they are conducting their business, as a rule, with the same integrity that the locals display in the conduct of their affairs. There is a jealousy, to some extent, between locals and nationals; but with proper laws in every state to regulate, control, and supervise both nationals and locals, as savings banks and all other banks are regulated and supervised, there ought to be little or no trouble in securing the honest administration of their affairs. Some states bring their building and loan associations under the same general supervision of law thrown around savings banks. New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, and some other states, as will be seen by the compilation of laws relating to building and loan associations published at the close of this work, require such associations to make annual returns in the same manner as savings banks. In other states, however, nothing is officially known of the building and loan associations beyond the formalities of their incorporation.
The states where supervision exists have reports, but no report relating to the whole country bas been published prior to this one. There had been private investigations of the methods of conducting building aid loan associations and of the facts relative to their business, but these have been based, so far as figures are concerned, largely upon estimates. It has been thought wise, therefore, in the interest of labor, to ascertain for public use all the leading facts surrounding tbe building and loan associations of the country. The object has not been to furnish the opportunity of ascertaining the financialstabilitv or standing of any particular association or to certify the condition of any such organization, but to furnish the public with the aggregate facts, both financial and economic, the character of associations, whether they are adhering to their original purpose, the class of people that patronize them, and all the leading points of interest and of value surrounding them,
The names of all the associations, together with the date of organization, designation as local or national, as permanent, terminating, or serial, the number of shareholders, male, and female, and total, the number of borrowers, the number of shares in force, and number of real estate loans for each association are given in Table I of the general tables. It was not thought wise to give all the other facts in detail for each association by name, for two reasons, the first being that many associations furnished the Department with information on the understanding or under the promise that all such facts should be considered confidential, and further, because in some states it was exceedingly difficult to secure any information on account of pending legislation looking to the taxing of building and loan associations. While, therefore, it would have been very desirable, from some points of view, to publisk all the facts contained in this report for each association by name, the foregoing reasons have prevented such publication. The method adopted, therefore, has been to give the names and facts just enumerated in Table I, and then to suinmarize all the other facts relating to building and loan associations into totals for each state.
The number of associations in each state given in this report will not always be the same as that given in state reports. The variation, however, is probably very slight in any instance, and comes from the fact that a different fiscal year has been used, or from the fact that some associations have been abandoned and some organized since a state report was issued. The Department of Labor bas not taken into consideration the abandoned associations, and therefore can not expect its statements as to numbers to tally at all times with local reports.
H. Ex. 209_2