Upon become independent the Republic of Sharmaprastha found itself in need of capital for development. The planet however possessed little in the way of resources or fertile land or scenic views to outside interests. Therefore the government created the Bank of Sharmaprastha in order to attract investment by offering a place for people to deposit their funds and create investments with little or no questions asked. Since the Bank had the full support of the local government and the military and security resources to defend its deposits it soon became a safe place to launder money. Clients were simply given an account number but no records of names, identification or amounts shared with anyone other than the bank. The bank would be required to turn over any records if a warrant was provided by the planetary government or Ministry of Justice but since the bank is owned by the local government few have been granted. The bank used its funds like many banks by providing loans, lines of credit and soon amassed a considerable stock and real estate portfolio which has provided a steady source of income.
Imperial Prussia was once known as 'The Army with a State' since the kingdom revolved around it's military. In today's time Sharmaprastha is known as the 'bank with its own government'. With the success of the bank in attracting investment and the resulting income the bank began to use its resources to influence the government both at home and abroad. Government ministers and regulators could gain valuable positions upon retirement and many have deposits and loans with the bank. The bank is a member of the Business Alliance, an NGO that provides money and advisers to political candidates, particularly those who favor the free market and little government regulation. The bank does not advertise itself as aggressively as other firms instead relying on word of mouth or its representatives to bring in clients. Many of the upper classes and rich both old and new money know of the bank or know someone that is a client or works for them. The bank prides itself on stability and security, while other banks and financial firms have risen and fallen, the bank remains. It has offices in most major cities, usually in a commercial building they own or have built next to high end boutiques and dealerships. Employees, especially those in the Sales Department are expected to dress conservatively and given clothing allowances to have suits customized. High performing employees can also have cosmetic procedures done to enhance their looks paid for by the bank as long as it is not radical. Employees are encouraged to feel they are in a select group and must hold a higher standard. In return employees received subsidized housing, clothing allowances, medical benefits for themselves and their families and good wages. Branches are allowed some decision making ability and the ambitious employee can go a long way.
Since the bank is part of the Sharmaprasthan government and is a government ministry it has the resources to fund a well trained and equipped security force. Many police and military members become security consultants upon retirement and every office is protected by the latest surveillance and security devices. Due to its location in higher rent districts all of this is hidden but anyone entering a branch or being met by an representative of the bank can expect to be fully scanned, background checked and verified before shaking the first had. Electronic records receive heavy encryption.
While the bank guarantees discretion and security of people's deposits, it also keeps a record of every visit someone has made to a branch. It also is not adverse to hiring deniable assets to discredit opponents of the bank or simply intimidate those who want to investigate tax evasion or a popular stories. Rumors of secret bank accounts are common on the entertainment channels. Also, since the bank expanded into real estate, insurance and finance it can provide loans to governments and companies in return for favors such as stocks or future business.
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? Responses (4)
Not so far away from rl with our greedy banks.
The effectiveness of this bank will depend on the type of currency used - as will the need for it. Does the government mint it's own coin? Does it print paper money? Are there inflationary or deflationary pressures? What is the form of taxation? Are there 'asset taxes' that that bank can automatically remove from customer accounts once a year? (the last could be very useful in controlling the amount of cash PCs have while still allowing them to gather outrageous amounts of loot.)
Sharma notes and issued letters of credit would be impeccable, and any planetary bank in a space faring society is going to handle the predominant currency as well as the valuable non-widespread currencies, such as forms of money used on worlds that refuse to accept offworld funds.
I like this. Reminiscent of GoT's Iron Bank of Braavos, despite the genre difference!