The following excerpts are taken from the proceedings of the 19th annual WBA Convention, held June 21-24, 1913 aboard the steamer S.S. North American in Milwaukee. A panoramic photo of this meeting hangs in the board room at the WBA offices in Madison.
From the address of WBA President E.A. Dow of Plymouth:
The past year has been one of activity in the affairs of the association, and it has been the effort of your officers to make its influence felt in banking circles as well as by aiding and supporting all measures that would be advantageous to the state at large. [...]
For a long time our banks have been assessed as a rule on a much higher valuation than other personal property, and as a consequence we have been obliged to pay more than our just proportion of taxes, and although protests have been made through the legislative committee, as well as by individual banks, against such discrimination, we have been able to secure neither recognition nor relief.
The disposition seems to be to force us to bear this unfair burden for the privilege of doing a banking business. How to provide a remedy for our present method of taxation is a question in which we are all interested, and one that should receive our careful attention. [...]
Regarding New Banks:
Bank promotion seems to be the order of the day and charters are being applied for in large numbers. While I have no desire to suggest anything that would deprive a locality of banking facilities where needed, yet I believe that the banking laws should be amended, providing for some form of discrimination in the organization of banks; which should be done either through a banking department, or a state banking board, similar perhaps to the system adopted by some other states. [...]
Regarding Guaranty of Deposits:
We are all aware that there is at the present time a bill before the legislature calling for the compulsory guarantee of bank deposits. It is known as the "Husting bill" and is similar to the one that was in the legislature two years ago and which failed to pass at that session. As I view the situation we must accept one of two things: either the compulsory guarantee of deposits, something that is extremely obnoxious and looked upon as a dangerous proposition by bankers, and one which I fear would be a great menace to the sound banking system under which we are now operating; or else, the organization of the mutual insurance company of which a tentative plan, you will remember, was presented at our session for the approval of our members.
After a thorough discussion of the plan at that time it was found it would not be feasible to adopt it, unless we could secure through the legislature amendments to both the insurance and banking laws. A resolution was presented and carried to ask for such an amendment at the next meeting of the legislature. This has been done and we are assured the request will be granted. In fact, the amendment to the insurance laws has already been enacted, and we are now in a position to perfect the organization if thought advisable. [...]
This is a matter in which we are vitally interested, and I urge you to give it your earnest and thoughtful consideration and decide whether we prefer having this insurance company formed, to be under the control of bankers, or accept the compulsory guarantee of deposits, to be controlled by state authorities, and in which case will always be made a political issue. [...]