An explanation is needful concerning the origin and composition of this work. For several years letters have been received by the publisher of the Banker's Magazine inquiring whether a work like this existed. Other letters of inquiry have been received concerning the Banker's Common-Place Book, which, after the issue of several editions, went out of print. For a long period I have been trying to find an opportunity to embody the more important matters contained in that work, with additional information in a new form, but the desire to complete other undertakings resulted in the postponement of this until after my connection with the School of Finance and Economy in the University of Pennsylvania, when the need of the book for the purpose of instruction was so great that the preparation of it was begun. The work, therefore, has been prepared to serve a double purpose; first, for those in banks, and elsewhere, who wish to learn how the business of banking is conducted; and, secondly, for use as a text book for the students whom it is my pleasure to instruct.

I have not aimed to produce an original work, but the best for the purposes mentioned. Accordingly, I have profited by the labor of others to a considerable extent, and it is fitting that I should acknowledge my indebtedness to them. In 1858 James S. Gibbons, Cashier of the Ocean Bank of New York, wrote a work on The Banks of New York, which ran through ten editions, and merited the favorable reception accorded to it. Changes, however, have occurred in banking methods since he wrote, while the style of Mr. Gibbons' work, though very lively and appropriate for the general reader, is not suitable for a class-room book. Nevertheless, I have drawn very largely from that source in the preparation of Part I. and with much pleasure I acknowledge my indebtedness to this pioneer in describing the methods of conducting the business of banking.

Aid has been derived from other sources. This has been acknowledged in various places, but additional mention may be properly made of several writers and sources of information. The more important sections of the Banker's Common-Place Book have been thoroughly revised and incorporated with other matter in Chapters VI. and VII.; and the essay entitled "Suggestions to Young Cashiers on the Duties of their Profession," is given in the Appendix. Another portion of Chapter VII., from pages 51 to 58, was written by George Walker, formerly Bank Commissioner of Massachusetts, and a banker of many years' experience, who has justly acquired the high reputation he enjoys as a financial writer on both sides of the Atlantic. Chapter XIV., on "The Book-keeper," has been prepared by S. R. Hopkins, who has happily joined an exceptionally valuable experience as an accountant in all its forms, private, corporate and municipal, with excellent facility for description. He has also prepared the last part of the work relating to "Trust Companies." The chapter on " Private Banking " is from the pen of Eugene R. Leland, of New York, formerly a banker in Wisconsin.

Part I., relating to " Deposit and Discount Banking," with the exception of three chapters, has also been revised by Frederick B. Schenck, Cashier of the Mercantile National Bank of New York. For the interest he has taken in the subject, and for the valuable ideas and suggestions with which he has enriched this part of the work, I am profoundly grateful. To J. M. Dreisbach, Cashier of the Second National Bank of Mauch Chunk, Penn., for information relating to Country Banking and to the Balance Sheet in the Appendix.

Part Second, relating to Savings Banks, with the exception of the first and last chapters, is the work of Charles E. Sprague, Secretary of the Union Dime Savings Bank of New York. A practical writer, and an experienced Savings Bank officer, it is believed that no better description of the method of conducting the Savings-bank business could be presented to the reader.

The Third Part, relating to Clearing-Houses, has been prepared by Dudley P. Bailey, of Boston. For several years he has devoted much study to the subject, and some of his papers have attracted wide attention. I know of no one who could have given a better account of the method of conducting the business of these institutions. In this connection we would not omit to mention the names of Nathaniel G. Snelling, Manager of the Boston Clearing-house, and Wm. A. Camp, Manager of the Clearing-house in New York, for information and other assistance rendered by them in the preparation of this part of the work. Important assistance was rendered by W. D. Snow, Secretary of the American Loan and Trust Company, and by L. K. McKinney, Trust Clerk of the same Company, in preparing Part IV. relating to Loan and Trust Companies.

I trust that the work will prove useful. That it may be improved in future editions, criticisms, facts and suggestions are solicited from every intelligent source.

Albert S. Bolles. Philadelphia, October jist, 1884.