From every point of view the situation was serious for Chinese banking, and it was generally felt that something must be done to avert the crisis. However complex the interests of individual bankers might have been, it was apparent that there was an esprit de corps among the bankers, and the Bankers' Guild thought it time that something was done. But there was a real difficulty in regard to the position of the banks which had grown during a number of years into more of business houses than banks. Therefore, it resolved itself into a conflict between the bankers and the dealers. With rare exceptions, the dealers were usually men of very little substance, while the banks, comparatively speaking, controlled all the wealth of commerce - except in very recent years and in isolated cases. Business between the Chinese and foreigners has been possible only through the medium of native banks; and the dealers were certainly not in a position to offer any organized opposition to native banking. As a result of several conferences - mostly unofficial - it was agreed that a better control be exercised by the banks over the credit of the dealers. And the dealers themselves arrived at the wise conclusion that they had better accommodate themselves to the banks as much as possible. The result was that with the gradual progress of years, the dealers became practically middlemen, while banks became the real dealers who, for a time at least, acted practically without any opposition from Chinese dealers.
* I do not take into consideration conditions that have arisen on account of the European war in 1914/15.