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BRITISH AND FOREIGN ALLIANCE.-This Co. was projected in 1858, by Mr. Wm. Stafford and others; but did not go forward.
BRITISH AND Foreign ExchANGE.-A co. under this title was projected in 1855, for dealing in reversions, granting loans, and issuing life pol. It did not become matured. BRITISH AND FOREIGN FIRE INS. Co., projected in 1853, with an authorized cap. of £100,000, in 40,000 shares of £2 10s. [power to increase cap. to £1,000,000.] This Co. was intended to be founded for the purpose of taking over the F. bus. of the National Guardian, and to be worked in connexion with the L. bus. of that Co. Mr. Jesse Hobson was announced as the Man. The project did not go forward. BRITISH AND FOREIGN LIFE Assu. Co., projected in 1851, by Mr. Geo. Saunders, gentleman, but it did not go beyond prov. regis.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN MARINE INS. CO., LIM., founded in Liverpool in 1863, with an authorized cap. of £1,000,000, in 50,000 shares of £20 each, £4 paid. The quoted price (June, 1872), is £7 to £8. The Co. has branches in Lond. and Manchester. Mr. R. N. Dale is Underwriter; Mr. W. D. Pritt, Sec. The Man. in Lond. is Mr. T. H. Wells.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN PLATE-GLASS Ins. Co., LIM., founded in 1870, with an authorized cap. of £10,000, in shares of £2, for the purpose of insuring against loss by accidental or malicious breakage of plate and other descriptions of glass. BRITISH AND FOREIGN RELIANCE ASSU. Co., "for life, fire, marine, and general assu.," founded in 1855, under the title of the New Alliance. In 1857 it took the name above given. The authorized cap. of the Co. was £1,000,000, in shares of £ Thomas Scott was promoter of the Co. A prosp. issued after the change of name contains its general features, as "non-forfeiture pol. ;" "half-credit prems. ;""temporary credits;" "loans ;" 'diseased, doubtful, or declined lives;" "deposit branch;" "commission to the widows of agents":
The directors of the Brit. and F. R., being fully convinced that the interests of a co. are advanced to a considerable extent by having an active and influential class of agents, and considering how unjust the system is of depriving the representatives of an agent at his death of the usual commission, when perhaps in the very year wherein death occurs he may have forwarded more bus. to the office than any previous one during his agency, have determined to allow to the widows of agents the commission that would have been received by the agent during his lifetime.
Next we reach the "accidental death department," which was a simple plagiarism of a page from the prosp. of the Co. of that name. Then the "marine department," which not only embraced the ordinary ins. of ship and freight, and cargo, but also embraced baggage ins." of passengers and mariners, and “marine casualty pol." Mr. Edward Payton was Man. Director of the Co.
The Co. does not appear to have entered upon F. bus. In 1858 its L. bus. was trans. to the Law Property, and thereafter the Co. carried on marine ins. only.-See BRIT. AND FOREIGN RELIANCE MARINE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN RELIANCE MARINE INS. Co.-This Co. was founded under the circumstances set forth in the preceding art. In 1858 it took the distinctive title of "Marine." In 1859 it ceased to carry on any bus., and passed into liquidation, under the Court of Chancery.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN SHIP Assu. Co.-This Co. was projected in 1850, by Mr. William L. Duff, Accountant, Lothbury, but it did not go beyond prov. regis. BRITISH GUARANTEE ASSOCIATION, founded in Edinburgh in 1845, with an authorized cap. of £250,000, in 2500 shares of £10. The bus. of the Co. was limited to "Fidelity Guarantee." The D. of Sett. of the Co. bore date 8 April, 1845; but as its main provisions are embodied in its Act of Incorp. to be presently noticed, we need not dwell upon them here. The prosp. said:
The object for which the Brit. Guarantee Asso. has been estab. is to provide, by a new application of the same principle [average], an efficient safeguard to the community against losses arising through fraud, dishonesty, or failure to account, on the part of persons holding offices of trust and responsibility, and thus providing a remedy for the numerous evils attendant on the system of private cautionry or suretyship.
The Asso. possesses a cap. of £250,000 subs. by about 450 individuals of undoubted means and responsibility; and the deed of constitution not only provides that the whole partners shall be jointly and severally responsible for the engagements of the Asso., but that the profits shall, under certain regulations, be carried to its paid-up cap.-the shareholders only receiving in the meantime a moderate rate of int. on the contributed stock; thus creating a constantly increasing fund for payment of and claims that may arise against the Asso.
The bonds or pol. issued by the Asso. have been adjusted at the sight of the leading banking cos. and other public estab. throughout Scotland, and they are conceived in the most favourable terms for the employer, being much more comprehensive than those issued by the Guarantee So. of Lond. and other similar institutions. .
The guarantee of the Asso. is a never-dying security. Cases of default have frequently occurred, where, upon inquiry being made, it was found that all the sureties had been dead for years. In banks and other large public estab. where the securities are numerous, and the obligants resident in many different parts of the country, at a distance from head-quarters, it becomes nearly impossible to watch over the continued existence of the cautioners. . . .
Obvious and important as are the advantages thus offered by the Asso. to employers of every class, it confers benefits no less valuable upon those who require to find security for their fidelity. The difficulty of obtaining security for personal integrity has placed an insuperable barrier in the way of many persons of the highest character and ability. . .
In 1846 the Co. obtained a special Act, 9 & 10 Vict., cap. ccclxxv.—An Act to Incorp.
the Brit. Guarantee Asso.
The incorp. here given is only of a limited nature, in accordance with the law of 1837, of which we shall speak under LEGISLATION FOR and AFFECTING INS. ASSO.
In 1854 the Co. obtained another special Act, 17 & 18 Vict., cap. ccxvi.-An Act to Repeal and Amend the Act for Incorp. the Brit. Guarantee Asso., and to make further Provisions as to the Management and Regulation thereof. The Co. was empowered to appoint a Board of Management in Lond. The repeal of the former Act was not to revive powers of D. of Sett. The Co. was re-incorp. by the present Act, but [sec. 40]: No bond or pol. given or entered into by the Co. shall in any wise limit or restrict the general liability of the Co. or its individual members, as regards the recovery of any moneys by such bond or pol. to be secured.
Sec. 55 of the Act provided that the guarantee of the Co. might be taken in lieu of security required from persons in public offices and employments; and sec. 58, that the like guarantee might be taken in lieu of security required from persons connected with the administration of the Poor Laws in England and Ireland; and by sec. 62 officers of savings' banks were brought within its range. By sec. 72 a list of shareholders and bal. sheet were to be sent annually to the Board of Trade, who might direct paid-up cap. of Co. to be increased.
The Man. of the Co. was Ralph Erskine Scott; the Sec. Robert Mackay; the Sec. in Lond. was David Forrest. In 1862 the bus. of the Co. was trans. to the European, on terms of great advantange to the shareholders of this Asso.
BRITISH GUARANTEE OF TRUST Co., for "Guaranteeing the Fidelity of Persons Employed by others," projected in 1840, with a proposed cap. of £100,000, in 20,000 shares of £5. The prosp. said:
It is thought that by the exercise of due vigilance, and a searching inquiry into the character and previous habits of the persons who are proposed, few, if any, claims will arise against the Co. In this respect the bus. of the Co. will differ essentially from that of a life office, against which claims must necessarily arise at the death of the parties whose lives are assu. . . .
To protect the shareholders from loss without in any way lessening or impairing the broad and unrestricted security given to the public, the best information has been obtained, and calculations made, which have enabled the Co. to prepare rates of charge, which are considered amply sufficient to protect them against any loss which may arise from the dishonesty of persons whose fidelity shall be guaranteed.
Co. to be dissolved when one-third of the subs. cap. lost. First division of profits to be made in Jan. 1843—afterwards annually. The project never became developed. BRITISH GUARDIAN LIFE ASSU. FUND, founded in 1869, under the title of National Widows, with an authorized cap. of £20,000 in shares of £1, Mr. C. W. Roe being the Act. Name changed 1872; and 17th July, same year, petition presented for winding up the Co.
BRITISH HOMOEOPATHIC AND General Life ASSU., ANNUITY AND REV. INT. Co.-A Co. under this title was projected in 1849, but no substantial progress was made beyond prov. regis.
BRITISH IMPERIAL INS. CORP., Limited, "for Gov. Security, Banking, Life, and Self Ins.," founded in Manchester in 1867, with an authorized cap of £200,000, in 200,000 shares of 1-first issue 100,000 shares. Power is taken to increase the cap. to £2,000,000. The art. of asso. of the Co. bear date 10 Jan., 1867.
The prosp. says this Co. is founded "for the purpose of introducing important advantages into the practice of Life Ins." These are set out as follow:
1. A system of Gov. security banking life ins. A banking account being opened in Gov. securities for each pol., to the credit of which its full value is placed year by year, and held in trust, as the property of the insurer.
2. Assigning to each pol. a current realizable value for every prem. paid, such value being determined by a pub. valuation table, which value is indorsed on each pol.
3. The investment in Gov. securities in trust, as the sole property of the insurer, of the full value of each pol. for every prem. paid, such value not being liable for any other engagement than that of providing for the pol.
4. The vesting absolutely the full power to control the value of every pol. in each insurer.
5. The value of a pol.-banking account under this system amounts to nearly 50 p.c. of all prems. paid. 6. Making life pol. negociable securities of the highest order, always available to their holders for monetary purposes.
The scheme is in fact Dr. Farr's system of "Consols Ins.," with some modifications introduced by Mr. T. H. Baylis. As we intend to deal with the Consols system specifically under its alphabetical head, we need not dwell upon it here; but we have to deal with the special features of this particular Co.
This Co. has a distinguishing feature from the Consols Assu. Asso., not in principle, but in practice, viz. that whereas in that co. the claims were to be paid in Consols, and the surrender values in cash, in this case the very reverse is adopted. The claims are payable in cash: the surrender values in Consols. This is unquestionably a very great improvement.
The Co. has adopted the system of "Local Trusts "—that is, of placing the funds of each district under the control of two trustees in that district, by whom alone any portion of such funds can be withdrawn. There is also a general Deed of Trust, vesting powers in Central Trustees.
The following T. shows the annual growth of the Co.'s bus. :
£64,790. £138,825. £193, 180.
Total prems. received to 30 June, 1871, 19,789; total claims paid to same date, £2765. The bus. of the year ending June, 1872, will not show any marked increase. The Co. has a non-par. branch, the investments in which are made in Indian securities, purchased with a view of realizing a rate of int. of not less than 4 p.c.
The annual audit-sheets of the Co. form one of its more marked features. The object of these is to show the amount of Consols standing to the credit of every pol. in force at the close of each financial year.
The plan of the Co. has been much commented upon by the press; in some cases receiving the highest laudation, in others the reverse. The following, from the Insurance Record, may be regarded as the utterance of an able and impartial authority:
The promoters are very sanguine about the profits they are going to make, since they state that the shareholders will secure at least 5 p.c. int. on their investment. But where are all these profits to come from? They point to the enormous profits made by the most successful of existing cos.; but these cos. realized nearly all their profits by investing their funds at a rate of int. considerably higher than 3 p.c. This will not affect the present office at all. The only source of profit they have is what they can save out of the proportion of prems. allowed for expenses, and perhaps a very small sum from the payment of the surrender values in stock instead of cash, and the difference in the int. on the investments made when the funds are at a discount. Before the shareholders can get 5 p.c., they must make £10,000 p.a. profit out of the above sources, since they are to have only 20 p.c. of the profits realized; and it will be many years before they will be able to make that amount. The profits can never be but a small fraction of those realized by other well-established offices, and on that score they will never be able to compete with them.
The Co. make a great point in the prosp. of their scheme of pub. a table whereby each pol.-holder can tell the value of his pol., and which certainly has many advantages-all fully set forth; but some of their remarks are very unjust to other offices, for, although we only recollect seeing one other prosp. there may be more-in which the surrender values are pub., still the offices nearly always state that they will give at least one-third of the prems. paid. Instead of giving nil, or something very insignificant, as stated in the prosp. before us, the offices are in the habit of giving a very liberal value for their pol., and frequently, when a pol. has been in force some years and has received large bonus add., the sum allowed for its surrender has far exceeded that put forward by this Co. We may also mention, for the information of Dr. Farr, that there are offices which return 50 p.c. of the prems. ann. to the assured, and will besides give a liberal value on the surrender of the pol."
These remarks will apply equally to any other Co. transacting bus. on the same footing; but as they were specially addressed to this Co., we reproduce them here.
It only remains to be added that the Co. is under conscientious and energetic management. Mr. John A. Feigan, the Gen. Man. (and sole owner of the copyright in the project), is an earnest believer in its success. He believes the large amount of cap. already sunk in the enterprise will bring a bus., which in the end will be productive of profits adequate to yield a return upon and replace all expenditure incurred. Mr. Wm. Davies, the Sec., is alike energetic and sanguine. The auditor is Dr. Farr, F.R.S., than whom no man is entitled to greater respect. The Trustees-both central and local-are men of known position [it is not their function to take any part in the details in the management], and the Directors are all men of bus. We shall watch the future of the Co. with much interest.
BRITISH INDUSTRY LIFE ASSU. Co., founded in 1852, with an authorized cap. of £100,000, in 20,000 shares of £5; power to increase to £200,000. This Co. was understood to have been founded by some of the men foremost in the management of the late Feargus O'Connor's land scheme- a scheme which, however well intentioned, was made the pretext for the most shameful abuses, political and financial. The prosp. speaks of the Co. as:
Adapted to meet the requirements of the middle and industrial classes by granting pol. as low as £5, or under that amount, according to age; by accepting prems. in weekly, monthly, quarterly, halfyearly, and ann. payments; by protecting the assurers where circumstances arise to interfere with their regular payments, and other decided advantages unattainable by the rules of general assu. offices. Then, speaking of L. ins. generally, it says:
Clothing life assu. in the humblest possible habiliments, disguising its virtues under the most retreating form that ingenuity could invent, it would yet be difficult to prevent the most unpractised eye from discovering the presence of a true friend; indeed a guardian angel, whose ministering objects cannot but be considered little less than divine.
An inspection of the following T. will show that the interests of all classes have been consulted in their formation, and that the poor man may follow the dictates of affection and duty, by using the road now thrown open to his use. It is to be hoped he will not neglect or delay embracing the means thus afforded him of showing to a discerning public, that the coarser cloth does not always cover the coarsest heart, and that the poor man's affection for his offspring issues from as pure a source, and flows as determinedly along, as may that of the generality of those who are termed the better classes. We shall see presently how well the interests of the " poor man were regarded by the then managers of this Co.
In the ordinary prosp. was a Table [No. xvii.] showing the annu. that might be secured at the age of either 50, 55, 60, or 65, receivable until death, by a weekly payment of one shilling. "Prems. cease when annu. commences, and will be all returned in case of earlier death. Thus a person aged 25 might by paying Is. per week secure an annu. of £6 Is. 6d. to commence at 50; or £9 4s. 9d. to commence at 55; £14 10s. 3d. at
60, or £23 35. 9d. at 65. was "Consulting Act.
We assume this T. had the authority of Mr. E. Ryley, who
Next we arrive at the "Tables of the Family Friendly So."-which was worked in connexion with the Co., its name being appended to the name of the Co. in many of the publications. Here we are told:
The committee of management have devoted much and serious attention to the consideration of mining casualties, arising from explosions and other accidents, causing instantaneous death to the heads and branches of dependent families, involving the latter in present destitution and future misery. To meet this, they propose to grant pol. for sums of £25 each, payable within 14 days of death from casualties only; such pol. to be granted without respect to age, upon an ann. payment of 35. 6d. made in advance; or by a weekly payment of one penny, or-to suit the pay-table of the miner -2d. p. fortnight.
Then follow the Life Tables, specially prepared for the "Industrial branch." These we shall speak of more fully under INDUSTRIAL INS.
The Co. speedily obtained a considerable bus. The following return we obtain from its various pub. reports:
6 months ending 1852 Pol. Iss. 10,386 Sum Ins. 160, 163 Ann. Inc. £4905. 1853 36,400 £18, 102. The first Sec. of the Co. was Michael O'Grady; the Provincial Man., Thomas Clark. Towards the close of 1853, these names disappear from the prosp., and Mr. F. E. Kew became Sec. The cause which led to this change may be traced to the events which transpired at a meeting held at the Town Hall at Birmingham on the 20th Sept. in that year (1853). This meeting was called in the guise of a "tea meeting," but was evidently designed as an advertisement for future operations. But events took a very unexpected turn. The character of the men in power was freely canvassed; and the pretensions of the Co. were found to be somewhat fallacious.
We cannot follow in detail the events of this most eventful meeting. We shall speak of a few of the principal. The Directors openly spoke of having a guarantee fund-the cap. of £100,000, but at that very time some 650 shares were alone held by bona fide holders. But whatever the cap. might have been, it could not benefit the great majority of the pol.-holders; for the pol, were mostly granted by the Friendly So., to which the cap. did not relate! Again, the income of the Asso. was stated to be £27,000 p.a. at that date; but the claims, if paid, would prob. have absorbed all the money-for all lives ins. for less than £50 were accepted without medical examination! The Provincial Man. -a few years before a working weaver in Stockport-was now drawing a salary of £700 p.a. from the Co. It was suspected the other officials were being paid at a like extravagant rate. The whole thing in fact was a delusion and a snare,
The change of management came. The bus. was put upon a sounder footing. The following are the figures for the two succeeding years:
1855 New Pol. Issued 9638 Sum Ins. 141,031 New Prems. £5767.
We have not the later figures. The Co. carried on bus. until nearly the close of 1860, when its funds and connexions were trans. to the Prudential. BRITISH INS. OFFICE FROM FIRE.-This was one of the projections of the South Sea era. We shall give a detailed account of the circumstances attending its early formation in our HIST. OF FIRE INS. Its proposed cap. was £2,000,000, the subs. for which was taken on 16 Feb. 1720, at Three Tun Tavern, Swithin's-alley. It had all the characteristics of a bona fide undertaking from the beginning. Meetings of the subscribers were held. Offices were taken at Mr. Geo. Strahan's "over against the Royal Exchange." It was determined to proceed with bus. Application to this end was made to Parl., but was refused by the Privy Council in July, 1720.
BRITISH AND IRISH INS. OFFICE.-A Co. under this title was transacting F. bus. in Ireland in 1835. Its duty return for that year amounted to 1636 135. 10d. In 1842 its duty return reached £2183. It died out in the following year.
BRITISH ISLES LIFE.-A Co. under this title was founded in Lond., in 1860, by Mr. Thos.
This Co. was estab. specially for the benefit of the industrial classes, by affording to them all the advantages of a friendly so., with none of the risks connected therewith; combined with the security and respectability of an assu. co....
In the case of family pol., the prems. upon all lives therein mentioned shall be continued and paid during life; and any payment made less than the whole amount due shall be placed to the credit of all the lives equally, and not to any one particular life; and that upon the death or withdrawal of any one name or life, the pol. shall become void, but a new pol. and book will be issued to those remaining, which must be accepted and paid for.
A stamped pol. will be issued to every accepted proposer or family of proposers, when they have been 13 full weeks proposed to the Co., if applied for and paid for at the office.
This system of "Family Ins." appears to be peculiar to Friendly Sos. The Man. of the Co. is Henry Steel; the Act. R. W. Hamilton. BRITISH LIFE ASSU. CO., LIM., founded in Lond. in 1870, with a regis. cap. of £5000, in shares of £5. The bus. extends to annu., endow., and guar. There was a peculiar feature about this asso. in the matter of the qualification of directors. They were to be qualified in one of three ways: either by shares upon which £200 should be paid; or by shares with 100 paid, and a life pol. for £500; or by a life pol. for £1000. We do not find the Co. in the list of existing offices.
BRITISH LIFE, FIRE, AND RENT.-A Co. under this title was projected in 1850, by Mr. John Cook, Actuary. It did not mature.
BRITISH MARINE.- An ins. co. under this title was projected in 1860, by Mr. John Geary. It did not go forward.
BRITISH MERCANTILE PLATE-GLASS INS. Co., projected in Liverpool in 1863, by Richard Hayhurst Rawtenstall. It did not mature.
BRITISH MERCURY.-The first number of a newspaper under this title was pub. 27 March, 1710, "printed for the Co. of the Sun F. office, in Threadneedle-street, behind the Royal Exchange, Lond., where policies in due form are deliver'd out for insuring Houses, moveable Goods, Furniture, and Wares, from Loss and Damage by Fire in any Part of Gt. Brit., to the value of £500 each pol., to any person who shall take them, paying the Stamp Duty and the First Quarter, viz., 2s. if they desire no British Mercury, or 2s. 6d. if they will have it. Lond.: Printed by Hugh Meere, at the Black Fryer, in Black Fryers, where, and at the Sun office, advertisements are taken in." We shall have to speak further of this pub. in our hist. of the Sun F. office.
BRITISH MUTUAL LIFE Assu. So., founded in 1844, with a highly respectable direction. The prosp. said:
This So. is estab. strictly on the mut. principle, and will be found peculiarly adapted to aid the best intentions of the provident members of society; for by the lowness of the prems. the greatest present benefit is secured to all; and by the equitable division of the accumulated profits, those who may attain the average duration of life will derive the greatest future benefit in parti. in the distribution of the surplus, which combines the advantage of a Tontine with those of an ordinary L. asso.
The prems. deduced from the Gov. Experience, with such add. as to provide perfect safety, are accurately adjusted to the several ages-at the early and middle ages they are about one-fourth lower than at most offices. The advantage of receiving, for the same prem., a pol. of £1250 instead of one for £1000 is sufficiently obvious, and needs no comment.
Then we have an explanation of the method of distributing the surplus, which is declared to be "at once safe, equitable, and favourable to good lives," the first and the last of which three propositions may be granted:
The surplus is reserved entirely for those members who survive the period at which their prems., with accumulated int. at 5 p.c., amount to the sums assured, and is thereafter divisible according to the value of the several pol., and not according to a fixed per-centage at all. TRIBUTION OF.]
[SURPLUS, DISDiseased lives were ins. ; half-credit given for seven years, and a free pol. given on surrender of pol. of seven years' standing, "corresponding to the then value of the previous prems. paid." Again :
Loans on personal or other approved security are readily obtainable by means of the Brit. Mut. Subscription Loan Assu. Classes, which are estab. in connexion with this So. upon equitable and advantageous terms, repayable by easy instalments, extending over lengthened periods.
These loan classes resembled, in their mode of working, the machinery of building sos., except that the security rendered for the advance obtained was mostly personal; and a L. pol. therefore formed an element in the security. The payments, and after a loan the repayments, were by monthly instalments.
In an early prosp. we find the following unique announcement: A liberal commission will also be paid to ladies (who prob. are generally the parties most benefited by L. assu.) on all bus. they may introduce to the office."
The progress of the So. was slow. In March 1851 the amount of L. bus. on its books consisted of 780 pol., ins. £143,959, yielding in ann. prems. £3822. The average age of the lives ins. was under 32 years; the average amount of each pol. being £183. The loan classes" had been the means of bringing bus. and providing means for the employment of the funds of the So.
The So., we believe, was orig. founded under the Joint-Stock Cos. Regis. Act, 1844. A new D. of Sett., was afterwards prepared, dated i Jan., 1851. This deed contained the ordinary provisions for regulating ins. asso. ; and it also provided for the dissolution of the So. and a division of the assets among the members on a resolution passed by threefourths at a general meeting; but the deed contained no provisions for the amalg. of the So. with, or the sale of its business to any other asso. The omission of these powers has been the occasion of much trouble and expense.
On the 10th Oct., 1868, a provisional agreement was entered into between this So. and the Prudential Co. for a trans. of the bus., assets, and liabilities of the So. to the Co. This agreement contained a clause providing that each of the directors should receive £600, and the Sec. £5000, by way of compensation for loss of office. This portion of the arrangement was made the subject of an attack through the Court of Chancery; but it