The way that the Yokohama Specie Bank challenged the established British banks in Asia before the First World War is examined in this chapter. The focus is on the finance of the cotton and silk trade, especially within Asia. By establishing a branch in Bombay YSB was able to create a two-way financial relationship between Japan and India involving flows of raw cotton and cotton textiles. A branch in New York had the same effect for silk as that was a major Japanese export to the USA. Thus, the YSB was able to compete with both the British and US banks that operated in Asia before the First World War. However, what was crucial for the success of both operations was the ability of YSB to discount its bills of exchange in London, which it was able to do through its City branch and links to domestic British banks. The result was that even the finance of the silk trade between Japan and the USA switched from a dependence on US credits to London finance in the early 20th century.
Keywords: Yokohama Specie Bank; trade; Bombay; London; New York
Chapter. 9768 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Business History
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