The consideration of a customer's statement along the lines suggested in the previous sections should assist a manager in promptly deciding whether he will grant a loan or not. A prompt "no" is often preferable to a belated "yes." The latter implies indecision. The least indication of weakness in the statement should not be overlooked. The margin of profit in banking is too small to allow unnecessary risk to be taken, and the bank should always be given the benefit of the doubt.
A reference book or card index should be kept on the manager's desk, and any credit information about customers and others, whether borrowers or not, should be systematically jotted down.
In the case of larger firms submitting regular statements, it is necessary to keep a careful record year by year of the changes in the statements and course of the account. It is advisable, whether the account falls within the manager's discretionary limits or not, to do this.
When a loan is outside the manager's discretionary limits it must be submitted to the head office accompanied by a definite recommendation. The latter is essential. Therefore, as soon as the manager decides that a loan of this nature is desirable, he prepares the statements required by the head office and forwards them with his letter. Figure 39 gives an exact copy of a customer's statement with space at the foot for a revaluation of the assets by the manager. Figure 40 provides for a detailed analysis and comparison of the last two statements on file, and also gives a comparison of the statements for the past five or six years. The course of the liability account is given for the past year with sundry other information. The course of the deposit account should also be referred to.