Bank of Shartak
The Bank of Shartak is a commercial financial institution and the only bank on Shartak Island. The Bank originally has branches in Durham, Derby, Raktam (oddly, the most popular branch), Wiksik, Dalpok, and York. Each branch was located within 1 square of a trader's hut (except Dalpok's branch, which is within 2 squares south-east-east of the trader).
In July 2007 all branches of the bank closed, except for the branch located in Durham, and a "quasi-branch" operated by Crowjane in Raktam.
Clan page: Bank of Shartak
The branches were each operated by branch managers, being:
- Gitboy in York. Operations in York were temporary suspended in February '07 as a consequence of threatened attacks by local militia, resulting in the replacement of Ibn al Xuffash by Gitboy. Gitboy was subsequently murdered in March '07, and replaced by Justice Hart of York. Hart committed suicide in July '07 and has not been replaced.
- Hideo Inakajimita in Durham. This branch is still operational and holds all despoits made at other branches.
- Kristofer Schanz in Derby. Schanz died in July '07.
- Dappled Shadow in Raktam. Dappled Shadow resigned from the bank's employment in May '07. Currently Crowjane is accepting deposits in Raktam.
- Justine in Wiksik. Justine disappeared in July '07.
- Monkeypaw in Dalpok. Monkeypaw was last spotted in Dalpok in July '07.
Services offered by the Bank include:
1. deposits, with a regular dividend of 10 GCs paid to large accounts of over 50GCs or 100 GCs, depending upon how much profit has been derived by the Bank in a given period.
2. loans, with varying rates of interest.
3. inter-branch transfers, allowing account holders to transfer funds from one branch to another to third parties, for a service fee of 10 GCs. Funds transfers are only limited by the amount of cash held by the paying branch. This service has been suspended while the other town's branches are closed for business.
All transactions are transparent and are recorded on the Shartak forum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the deal with deposits?
A: Basically, you open an account by depositing money with a branch manager. The deposit is recorded at the bank's forum. Every so often (so far, twice in December '06) we announce a dividend, depending upon how profitable the bank has been.
The first dividend was 10 GCs for every account of more than 100 GCs.
The second dividend was 10 GCs for every account of more than 50 GCs.
(These are only indicative of what future dividends might be announced in months to come.)
So that means people who were with us from the beginning - notably, the Scavengers Community Account - have received two 10GC dividends, simply as a consequence of having the requisite amount of money deposited with the bank.
Depositers are encouraged to re-invest/not withdraw, obviously, in order to fund the loan program, and to maximise their dividends.
Donations to the bank, to help fund its operations but with no return, are obviously also welcome. A surprisingly large number of people have been happy to give money to the bank to help us along.
Q: What is the deal with loans?
A: Loans are tailored to your requirements, but here is an example. Say you want to hire the Mercenaries' Guild to sack York. If you borrow, say, 150 GCs for a month to do this, you'd have to repay with interest of 50GCs at the month's end.
Being a soulless and opportunistic bank, we have no compunction about funding both sides of a conflict (to hire mercenaries, buy FAKs or weapons, or whatever), so long as we are repaid by both sides when the dust settles.
Default on large loans not only ruins your credit record - you'd never get to borrow again - but you'd also have some angry pirates or mercenaries chasing you for a while. We usually start off with small loans. So far no one has defaulted on a loan, which is encouraging.
Q: What is the deal with inter-branch transfers?
A: Deposit money with a branch with instructions that the amount is to be collected at another branch by another person. We charge 10 GCs for an inter-branch transfer. In other words, if you deposit 110 GCs with the Durham branch, with instructions that someone is to collect 100 GCs in Derby, then we will keep the 10GC balance as our fee. This has been a popular service of the bank.
Q: What else does the bank do?
A: These are the only services the bank currently offers. The bank is not interested in buying businesses, but will happily fund such purchases on terms and conditions to be agreed.
Q: Can I buy the bank?
A: Sure, if the price is right, or alternatively you can buy into the bank and take profits.
Q: Where are the branches?
A: The branches were located in Raktam, Wiksik, Dalpok, Derby, Durham and York, all within one square of a trader's hut, except the Wiksik branch which is two squares away. Currently on Durham has an operational branch.
Q: Why don't you have branches at the shipwreck?
A: There are no huts other than the the trader's hut, which makes it difficult to establish operations there. In addition, sovereign risk at the shipwreck is considerable and we are concerned about the safety of a branch manager in that region. The temporary shipwreck branch manager Ibn al Xuffasch was killed in March '07 by pirates within 24 hours of arrival.
Q: Do you have any roaming branches?
A: No, as it would be too difficult for a roaming branch to identify people who wish to do business with the bank.
Q: Who are the current branch managers?
A: Durham's branch manager is Hideo Inakajimita.
Q: Who is the CEO of the Bank?
A: Kristofer Schanz, based at the Derby branch was the first CEO. Since his death Hideo Inakajimita has become the President of the Bank.
Q: How do you generate the gold to pay interest on accounts?
A: Primarily through profitable daily trading activities within each site. Certain items get you high quantities of GCs at the trader's hut. We generate about 30 GCs a week in trading by the branch managers, which is enough to declare a dividend every so often for large account holders to encourage deposits.
We encourage re-investment and most account holders seem happy to have the cash building up for a rainy day.
Loans also generate income but we currently don't have any big loans on the books. Inter-branch transfers also generate income, too, but they are relatively infrequent compared to daily trading.
Q: What sort of security do you have?
A: Our staff are occasionally threatened or killed, which we regard as an attempted robbery, and any murders/attempted robberies are reported to the local police force. Most of our problems with violence are in York - on 11 January '06 the branch was the scene of a violent Tarantino-esque robbery by Wicksick headhunters. Otherwise, unless looting becomes a skill (in which case we'd probably close up the bank and refund all monies to their deposit holders) your funds are secure.
Q: What sort of measures do you have for client confidentiality?
A: We presently do not keep account details secret unless specifically asked to do so. Otherwise, all deposits are recorded at the bank's forum to demonstrate transparency in the bank's processes, to encourage confidence in the bank.