This chapter discusses the political, institutional, and technological threads emanating from the exposition of British banknote issuance in China. European overseas banks had been under no obligation to disclose country-specific circulation volumes in their published annual reports, which allowed the British banks, whose banknote issues were truly multinational in nature, to withhold critical information, especially during politically sensitive times. HSBC's quasi-foreign note issue was likely to have been very remunerative, particularly in the late Imperial and early Republican eras. The Bank's Head Office in Hong Kong was generally less enthusiastic about the growth of the China issue than were local branch managers, due to concerns that an unbridled expansion of quasi-foreign note circulation volumes would impinge on HSBC's role as de facto arbiter of Hong Kong's money supply.
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