Almost every province had an official bank or more commonly called a provincial Government bank. These banks were supposed to receive the revenues collected within the province and make arrangements for the dispatch of them to Peking, through the Shansi banks or other means. It is a curious commentary on the resolution or the zeal for reform of the Chinese that, even within a year after the formation of the first provincial bank, the business grew to be exactly like that of any other trading institution in the country. They did the usual banking business - receiving deposits, giving loans, discounting bills of exchange and so forth - and did such business with an almost reckless disregard for safety or sound commercial principles. The great asset of the proprietors or the shareholders of the banks was the quasi official support accorded to them by the provincial authorities; they employed very little capital and traded on the credit of being a so-called government bank. They speculated heavily - even in shares and stocks of foreign companies. The only difference between them and the properly organized native banks was that they had the authorization of the authorities to issue bank-notes. In this connection, it is only fair to state that most of the native banks could have obtained such authorization, if only they had asked for it. As a matter of fact, the best native banks have always prided themselves on the fact of their evading the necessity to issue bank-notes.