- Project Runeberg -  Finland : its public and private economy /
188

(1902) [MARC] Author: Niels Christian Frederiksen
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year of 1839. The older irredeemable Russian and
Finnish paper money disappeared then from
circulation. The decision of the Diet in Borgå in 1809
that the silver rouble should be legal money was
now finally carried out. There was, however, this
weak point in the banking law of 1840, that the
Bank of Finland was also obliged to exchange Russian
banknotes into silver. The dangerous consequences
of this decision appeared in 1854, when the Russian
Bank was forced by the Crimean War to stop the
payment of its notes.

Great progress had in several ways taken place in
the principles and practice of bank administration,
but in some other respects the old principles
continued in force too strongly in the Bank’s method of
transacting business. There was too much delay in
obtaining loans and discounting bills. Even in places
where there were branch offices, a demand had to be
sent to the head office of the Bank, which was now
at Helsingfors, and not as at the commencement at
Åbo, and it took days or weeks to obtain an answer.
During the first half of January the Bank was entirely
closed for the audit. The rates of interest and discount
were no longer perfectly immobile, but were changed
by the Government, that is, the Economic Department
of the Senate. The fundamental principle of the
administration continued to be wrong. The directors
thought it their duty to consider the public interest,
instead of acting in a business-like way and considering
principally the profits of the Bank, the market rate
of interest and discount, and the best possible security.
It continued to lend money in order to prop up divers
industries, not least among these the landed proprietors;
and new branches were opened. For instance,
when the Crimean War had destroyed half of the

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