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After that, the next several weeks of efforts was spent preparing for the establishment of the bank, such as ensuring the building and securing the equipment… As usual, there is a mountain load of things to be done.
Finally, the promised day of the meeting had arrived. The designated location was the Headquarters of the Commerce Guild here in the Duke of Armelia’s fief.
When I had a meeting with Moneda in this place, I thought that the interior was calming and profound, and it’s still the same as always.
“…Now then, everyone. Thank you for taking time off of your busy schedules to gather here today.”
I gave a greeting to start things off. Besides, I really am extremely grateful to the members who had gathered here today because they genuinely do all have very, very busy schedules.
“No, not at all. We were also looking forward to meeting the President of the conglomerate that has risen to the spotlight recently.”
He said with a sharp glint in his eyes. A-as expected… an impressive full mark.
“I didn’t meet everyone here today as the President of Azura Conglomerate, but as the proxy of the Feudal Lord of the Duke of Armelia’s fief.”
“Oh, as the proxy of the Feudal Lord, is it?”
“Yes. Otherwise, it will be impossible for me to gather everyone today. After all, our conglomerate is still a newcomer.”
“How humble. I’ve heard all about your activities.”
“If that’s the case… I will happily accept your words of praise. However, today’s business is a different matter…”
The atmosphere in the surrounding froze instantly.
“First of all, I would like to establish a bank in our fief. By all means, I would like everyone to use it.”
“…A bank, is it?”
“Excuse my impoliteness, but what exactly is it?”
“To put it simply, it is a developed version of the repository services provided by the Commerce Guild. Its main purposes are depository services, money order services, and financing services.”
“Depository services? Financing… services? I’ve never heard of those before… What kind of significance do they have?”
“Let’s start with the depository services. It is similar to the services that the Commerce Guild has been providing, where a conglomerate or an individual can entrust their funds. Those kinds of services will also be conducted in the bank.
The funds the people part of the Commerce Guild spend to constantly hire escorts will no longer be necessary. Don’t you think it’ll be an advantage for the Commerce Guild?
Furthermore, you can settle transactions between accounts with the bank. For example, if mutual parties deposit funds in the bank, cash reserves can be moved between accounts and thus will not have to carry cash with them.”
About the depository services, I thought it would be fine to make similar to the ones in Japan. In other words, a bankbook and seal. However, since it’s only been recently established, it’ll be difficult to process the account transfers.
Thus, I thought it would be a good idea for the conglomerates to create a checking account. Also, because it is likely that people will travel to different regions, it would be a good idea to create cheques and drafts.
From here on out, since I intended on drawing up family registers, and wondered if it’ll be a good idea to create IDs along with it. In addition, as proof that that person’s ID does indeed belong to them, there should be a stamp on the back.
Nevertheless, it’s not really necessary to have everything the same as Japan… Or rather, let’s polish this idea later. Since the family registers will take some time, it’ll be fine if it’s introduced after the bank has already been properly established.
As for the seal, since there are no kanji characters in this world, as I thought, it’ll have to be the crest of nobles. While I was pondering on what should be done, I went to consult with Moneda.
It was the same for the money order services, I had to consider how to handle those after the an account has been opened. Machines don’t exist here. When the patron opens an account in the bank, each patron will receive an account book, and using this method, they can deposit their money.
By the way, we have already established the guard division, and I intend to put them to use. Guards are necessary for banks, especially when we start shipping… right? Of course, it’s not as though the guards had excellent qualifications upon being hired… thus, an initial investment was needed.
“…I see. However, I wonder if that will really be safe? After all, they are important funds. There must not be any risk.”
“Of course, it will be placed under the protection of our House. I can guarantee the quality of the security guards who will be protecting the funds. On the other hand, if a fraud were to happen, I will use my position to apprehend the criminal.”
“Hmmm. Then what about financing services?”
“As for financing services, it lends out the collected funds… In other words, money lending. Of course, strict conditions will be imposed… And if one is able to meet the requirements, they will be able to borrow capital. For example, funds to start up a new business?”
“That is interesting.”
“You can entrust your money at any given time and only withdraw the necessary amount. Transactions will be easier to settle. In addition, if you need capital, you can borrow them when necessary. “Our House” will be in charge of the safety of the funds. And because it will be under our House, the funds will always remain secure unless our House falls into ruin. …What do you think? Earlier, you kindly complimented the management of the conglomerate, but what do you think about Feudal Lord returning the profit to the fief? After all, the fief’s money belongs to the fief.”
Although I said that, it’s not like the fief will be guaranteed to receive funding from the bank. Especially when the people in front of me are not willing to make direct investments. After all, I intended to spend the tax money collected from the people of the fief for the fief.
That said, if our conglomerate did not succeed, most of the taxes collected would have been spent on maintaining the Ducal House instead of being allocated to road maintenance. They are not mistaken about where the profits of the conglomerate goes, are they?
“In exchange for that, what will you be demanding from us?”
“As for establishing the bank, I do not have any request in mind. Because the most important is to return the money of the fief to the fief in order to develop it.
Ah, but the Commerce Guild has always been in charge of this, so I would like to ask permission if it would be fine for us to ‘headhunt’ those people and employ them for the bank?
Since there is a lot a things to learn, it would be better if we hire people with experience. Also, although we have prepared for the bank’s headquarters to be here, we have yet to prepare where to set up other branches. Thus, I would be grateful if the Commerce Guild has any suggestions.”
“As for our guild, since we have always been in a deficit in this area, we will be more than happy with the takeover… So if it’s only that much, it will be our pleasure to cooperate.”
Alright, the prospect of establishing the bank is looking bright.
“…Then, next item the agenda. Shall I move to the “main issue” involving the conglomerates now?”
The atmosphere which had relaxed a little turned tense again. There is no reason to end it here. …Since the people who had gathered here today have a really busy schedule… it will be a wasted opportunity if I do not grasp this chance.
“About the bank we were talking about earlier, it has been decided that the tax collected from the people of the fief will be invested on road maintenance of the roads in the fief. And also, there one more thing. The establishment of an ‘academy.'”
“Academy… you say? Such as the one in the Royal City?”
“If it’s that kind of disadvantageous academy, there’s no need to use the tax money to build it. What I would like to build is an academy that has a primary division which will teach students how to read and write, and an advanced division, which it teach specialized skills to students… The fief’s taxes will be used for this because I plan on passing a bill, making primary education compulsory in our fief. Presently, I want to direct everyone’s attention to the advanced division.”
“In what way?”
“Frankly speaking, I would like you to invest in it. Although funds will be acceptable, materials and equipment will also be welcomed.”
“Wouldn’t it be fine to ask the bank you spoke of earlier to finance it?”
“The bank is dependent on the funds of the Ducal House and the taxes of the people of the fief. If the bank is used to finance something so extensive, it will ruin the balance of income and expenditure, and will result in the collapse of the bank management.”
“There is some truth to that. If that’s the case, wouldn’t it be fine if we wait until the academy has been founded?”
“If possible, I would like to build the academy as soon as possible. Because people are important resources in our fief, it will be a shame if we leave them alone and don’t polish them.”
“…Hmmm. What is the concept of the academy?”
“I will distribute the materials now, please look at them.”
Sebastian who came with me distributed the documents to everyone. These are the materials I spent preparing for the last several weeks. …Thanks to that, I have not had much time to sleep lately.
“First of all, I would like to establish a Medical and Pharmaceutical department. Afterward, Fief Administration and Accounting department.”
“A medical department… you say?”
The conglomerate directors had surprised expressions on their faces. I guess it’s only natural. Because the doctors in this world are only employed by royalties and aristocrats, and thus the knowledge of medicine is not widespread.
As for the value of such knowledge… every member from the conglomerate can understand it. Normally, in order to learn such knowledge, a high remuneration must be paid.
…That’s right, “usually,” that is. I also desired to employ a few of those people. I wanted to employ two or three people for our House, however, I don’t know where mother heard about this information, but she made an introduction.
That person seemed to be quite idle. I mean, up until a while ago, that person was relaxing in the countryside. Then, that person suddenly wanted to cultivate the younger generation and came here.
As for me, I would like to take advantage of mother’s connections to negotiate with the doctor and for future negotiations done by the conglomerate by all means.
By the way, farmers and scholars will act as instructors in the agriculture department. For classroom learning… and hands-on skills.
As for the scholars, I once again took full advantage of father and mother’s connection to gather them. Afterward, I’m also intending for Rehme to stand as a lecturer.
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