The different classes of banks that have been in existence during the past fifty years have been described in my "Finance in China." The most interesting and wide-spread are what are generally known as native banks. Originally these were nothing else but shops, where one kind of money could be exchanged for another. Owing to lack of sufficient occupation and the fact that currency had always remained one of the principal means of raising revenue, it was not to the interest of either the central or the provincial Governments to simplify the complications arising out of the circulation of different kinds of money. Moreover patriotism or citizenship in this country has been more or less parochial. The merchant, the banker or the resident of one province looked upon the merchant, the banker or the resident of a neighbouring province not in the light of citizens of the same country, but as people out of whom they should profit as much as possible. If there had been a sufficient number of commodities to trade in, in large quantities, or if there was some possibility of two provinces at least trading with an alien country it is probable that the course of development might have been different. Unfortunately, owing to the fact of there being a very limited inter-provincial or foreign trade, the people took to dealing in money. It was more or less of a gamble and the native banks facilitated the business in what was then known as money. The population needed something to engage its attention as also some means by which each individual could profit; and at one time the only safe and likely occupation of any one with a small amount of capital was the business of exchange.