Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Financial Institutions

page 356

Financial Institutions.

The Public Trust Department was formed by the Government in 1872 to act as an agent or attorney on behalf of trustees or private individuals, for the control and administration of their property. The Public Trustee may administer the estates of deceased persons; his administration is guaranteed by the State, and the funds are invested in Government or other safe securities. The charges made by this Department are practically nominal. District agents are appointed in the chief towns throughout the colony, and Mr E. F. Warren is the district agent at Auckland. This gentleman has offices in the Palmerston Buildings, Queen Street. An article on the Public Trust Department appears on page 644 of the Wellington volume of this Cyclopedia.

Auckland Stock Exchange. This association is, so far as is known, the oldest institution of its kind in the Colony, having been founded in 1872. The building in Queen Street, known as the “Exchange,” was erected in 1870, and at the time a number of gentlemen, who were engaged in mining, agreed to take offices in it. In the course of a year or two, as the interest in the mining industry increased, and the public grew more eager to invest and speculate, it became apparent to prominent and trustworthy men, who acted as middlemen or brokers, that to guard against outside and irresponsible speculators, it would be to their advantage as well as that of the investing public to inaugurate an association on the principle of the London Stock Exchange, and publish, by means of bulletin boards and through the Press, a daily list of quotations. In pursuance of this object about twelve gentlemen formed themselves into an association, and drafted rules to govern its proceedings. At first they met in a small room at the back of what is now known as the rotunda. Amongst the earlier members were Messrs J. Friar Clarke, John Mowbray, Samuel Vickers, Alex. Saunders, Joseph Newman, J. M. Lennox, Hugh Campbell and Charles Alexander. The first presidency or chairmanship cannot be identified, as the original minutes and records have unfortunately been lost or destroyed. At the start the members merely paid a subscription fee, just sufficient to cover the ordinary current expenses of the association, and admitted or refused to admit candidates for membership, after the manner of a club. In the course of time, however, the Exchange grew in importance, and a membership or “seat” attained a definite value. The entrance fee was then made £25, and shortly afterwards £100, and as the public began to recognise the benefit derived from the institution, the price rose still higher, and now a “seat” on the Auckland Stock Exchange is worth £500. The association deserves credit for the care with which it has guarded its reputation. It has been in existence for over twenty-five years, yet its total membership at the present time is barely thirty; but the members are men of sterling integrity, and the investor can depend upon absolutely fair treatment in any dealings which he or she may have with any of the members. There are three “calls” every day: at 9.30 o'clock, 12 o'clock, and a quarter past three o'clock, and so soon as the list has been ratified, the quotations are prominently posted by the various members. In this way the public is made aware of the business that has been transacted, and of the prices offered by buyers and demanded by sellers. The present (1901) members are:—Messrs G. A. Buttle (chairman), Alfred Oldham (secretary), William Clarke, D. B. McDonald, Francis Hull, R. G. Mackey, John Mowbray, H. S. Ruddock, V. J. Larner, R. Frater, Aitken Carrick, James Reid, G. F. Brimblecombe, Charles Alexander, D. McLeod, Duncan E. Clerk, J. T. Armitage, L. A. Levy, W. A. Knight, F. H. Masfen, J. M. Lennox, R. E. Issacs, E. Anderson, W. H. O. Johnstone and W. Frater.

Auckland Co-Operative Terminating Building Society, Union Bank Buildings, corner of Queen and Victoria Streets, Auckland. Board of Directors: Mr. A. J. Entrican, chairman; Mr. E. R. Jones, vice-chairman; and Messrs R. Walton, G. Rainey, W. Lambourne, J. J. Boak, J. F. Buddle, and T. Macky; with Mr. Robert Hood as secretary, and Mr. F. Wilson Smith solicitor. Bankers, the Bank of New South Wales. This society was established in March, 1897, and is incorporated under and in pursuance of “The Building Societies' Act, 1880.” Its objects are to raise, by the subscriptions of members, a fund for making advances to members, upon the security of freehold or leasehold property, by way of mortgage, to the extent allowed by law. The shares of the society are of the value of £200 each, and the number of shares is limited to 10,000; the fortnightly subscriptions are 2s per share. Shareholders are formed into ten groups, each group representing 1000 shares, and as often as the funds of a group justify an appropriation, one takes place; the appropriations are made by ballot and sale alternately. Six groups have been formed (1901), and are in satisfactory working order.

New Zealand Mortgage, Loan, And Discount Bank, 28 High Street, Auckland. This business was established by its present proprietor, Mr Lewis Moses, in 1882, and although it has several times been moved into fresh premises, it has always occupied offices in the same street.

The Northern Estate Agency And Finance Company, Limited, Legal Chambers, 141 Queen Street, Auckland. The capital of this Company is £20,000, in 20,000 shares of £1 each. The institution was founded in 1898, for the purpose of advancing money on personal security, leasehold and freehold property, agricultural produce, stock, etc.

Mr. James Jamison, the Manager, was formerly connected with the Bank of Australasia, but left that institution in 1897, and started sharebroking in Auckland. After the collapse of the mining boom, in 1898, he assisted in the formation of the Company, and was appointed its manager.

The New Zealand Commercial Exchange Company, Limited, 32 Grey Street, Auckland. Capital, £5000, in shares of £1 each; Mr. Laurence Johnstone, managing director. This Company, which was established in Wellington in the latter part of 1898 by Mr. Michael Flurscheim, is an Association of farmers, manufacturers, traders, and workers, who agree to issue to themselves (through directors and committees appointed by themselves) exchange notes and cheques for the purpose of facilitating their trade with one another. The Commercial Exchange Bank will be formed by a nucleus of several thousand members, comprising all trades and industries, who will deal among themselves (within limits) by means of the “Exchange” cheques and notes, which are payable in any goods or services. The Exchange Bank will perform the following main functions:—(1) Issue exchange paper as required; (2) act as a clearing-house for members' transactions; (3) institute a credit department for the accommodation of members. The Bank may thus be regarded as the heart, and the circle of members as the body of the organisation. A member accepting Exchange paper will, in his turn, use it in the Exchange circle like any other money. He will, as the case may be, either pay therewith his butcher, baker, tailor, or others, or he will use it to pay his various purveyors of stock, material, country produce, and so forth, according to the nature of his business. Special encouragement will be given to local manufacturers and those working on co-operative lines. At the time of writing (June, 1901) there were about 1000 members in the New Zealand Commercial Exchange, and all that is now needed to make it a gigantic success is the hearty support of the people generally.

Mr. Michael Flurscheim, the Promoter of an improved currency system, better known as the Commercial Exchange, has devoted considerable time, and a large sum of money, to the furtherance of the project, which will prove of great advantage among the trading and commercial section of the community. Both in England and on the Continent, Mr. Flurscheim has gained a wide experience of institutions of a somewhat similar character, and in the former country he was the propagator of a means of mutual exchange, which, in its development, is sure to afford the commercial facilities its pioneer had in view. As indicated by his name, Mr. Flurscheim is a native of Germany, and was born in 1844, at Frankfort-on-the-Maine. In literary circles he page 357 has won wide renown and frank respect by the publication of several interesting and instructive works, all dealing in the main with his favourite subject—social reform. Leaving school at the age of sixteen, Mr. Flurscheim entered the well-known banking and exchange houso of his uncle, known as L. A. Hahn. There he remained for four years, and removed in 1864 to Berlin, where he was engaged in a similar capacity till the latter end of the same year, when he accepted a position in a stock-broking and exchange firm in Paris. Here he extended his experience of banking and exchange, and in 1867 embarked for America. In New York he ultimately became familiar with the business of a wholesale manufacturer and importer. In 1872 Mr. Flurscheim returned to his native city, and took a prominent part in the editing and publishing of the “American News,” issued for the benefit of Americans in Germany. In 1873 he purchased the now famous Gaggenau Iron Works, then carried on in a small establishment, employing only forty men, and from that lowly stage he developed the business till it became one of the largest and most renowned hardware manufactories in the Grand Duchy of Baden, employing over 1000 hands. After disposing of this large and valuable business, Mr. Flurscheim travelled through England and France, and finally, on account of his wife's health, settled in Switzerland, where he still possesses a beautiful estate on the banks of the world-renowned Lake of Lugano. Leaving Switzerland in 1896, Mr. Flurscheim visited England, with a view to inducing the inhabitants to form an exchange currency of their own, and thus form the nucleus of a money reform in England. Having successfully planted the germ of the scheme he advocated, Mr. Flurscheim left for New Zealand, and arrived on the 19th of February, 1898, at Wellington, where he immediately commenced his labours in connection with the Land Nationalisation and Currency Reforms. In the latter part of 1900 he removed to Auckland, where he temporarily resides, in an enviable spot in Arney Road, in the very respectable and highly favoured district of Remuera. As an addition to the many books which he has written, both in the English and German languages, the author of the well-known “Rent, Interest, and Wages,” and “Money Island, is now engaged in completing a work which he entitles “Clue to the Economic Labyrinth.”

Mr. Laurence Johnstone, Managing Director of the Commercial Exchange Company, was appointed to his present position in June, 1900, as successor to Mr. Michael Flurscheim, the well-known and respected promoter of the improved currency system. During his brief term of office, Mr. Johnstone has done much, both by personal appeal and through the medium of terse and polished pamphlets, to bring home to the public mind, the great advantages which would accrue from the establishment of the mutual means of exchange he now advocates. Mr. Johnstone was born in 1871, in the Shetland Islands, where he resided for seven years, and then left for New Zealand accompanied by his father, who eventually entered the profession of school teaching in the provincial district of Wellington. In 1888 Mr. Laurence Johnstone entered the grocery trade, and after pursuing it with success for about ten years, he left it to establish a business as a wholesale seed merchant in Wellington. After having secured an extensive connection in the trade he had established, Mr. Johnstone became interested in the project of Commercial Exchange, and, desiring to help on a reform so advantageous to trade and the community, he sold his business and commenced work for the cause he long had wished to further.

Hanna, photo.Mr. L. Johnstone.

Hanna, photo.Mr. L. Johnstone.

The Auckland Farmers' Co-Operative Society, Limited, 32 Grey Street, Auckland. Telephone 738. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Officers: Captain Mak Gill, president; Mr. S. A. Browne, secretary; and Mr. G. E. Thorley, manager. The capital of the Society is £1000, in £1 shares. In August, 1900, a number of eminent farmers, seeking to improve their position as tillers of the soil, and effect a long-needed improvement in the commercial position of producers and consumers, determined to bring to their aid the one thing needful to the public welfare—unity, or co-operation—and with this view formed what is now known as the Auckland Farmers' Co-operative Society, a body of producers and consumers who agree to buy and sell in a mart founded and maintained by their united powers. By this means they purpose regulating (within limits) the produce prices, and to become, as far as is possible or advantageous, their own masters. With such principles as the basis of its operations, the Society has experienced a well-deserved progress, and at the present time enjoys a very large membership.

Mr. G. E. Thorley, Manager of the Auckland Farmers' Co-operative Society, Limited, has devoted many years to the study of the advantages which accrue from co-operation, and in the Auckland province has done much to open the eyes of producers and consumers to the great benefits which unity of operation can lead to. Mr. Thorley was born in 1870, at Bedford Leigh, Lancashire, England, and was educated there in the public schools. In Manchester he learned the business he is now pursuing, and was engaged there for eleven years in one of the leading co-operative societies. The experience and practical knowledge thus gained have been of inestimable benefit to him in connection with his present operations. Mr. Thorley is one of the directors of the New Zealand Commercial Exchange Company, Limited.

Hanna, photo.Mr. G. E. Thorley.

Hanna, photo.Mr. G. E. Thorley.