When other ports besides Canton were opened to foreign trade the number and function of Chinese banks increased. In Canton the hong merchants were given the privilege of trading with foreigners by the Government; they were generally very well-to-do people and there was a tacit understanding that any defalcation caused by one of them should be made good by the rest. In not a few cases the Government had to come to the rescue of these merchants and also to indemnify the foreign merchants. But when other ports were opened to foreign trade and any foreigner had the right to trade, the number of Chinese traders increased. Just as there was no monopoly among the foreigners there was no monopoly among the Chinese. Partly on account of the necessities of the situation and partly on account of the fact that an increased volume of business over a wider area needed larger facilities, the number of native banks increased in proportion to the number of Chinese dealers. With the progress of years more and more ports were being opened to foreign trade and the consequence was a proportionately large addition to the number of native banks. The high water mark was reached just before the Revolution of 1911, during which, owing to the insecure foundation on which native banking rested, many of the institutions had to close their doors. Although the number of these institutions has been slightly added to recently, most of the existing ones are comparatively sound.