Banks operate under a fractional-reserve system that allows them to create liabilities and money virtually at will. This system expands money beyond what it would otherwise be and guarantees inflation by pushing the broad money supply far beyond the base money. Money, in essence, is debt, with supply dictated by loan demand.
A full-reserve scheme would prevent banks from lending phantom money. Banks’ primary functions would be bifurcated into money warehousing and deposit lending. As warehouses, banks would collect fees for storing deposits, with the deposited funds always available to the depositor. As deposit lenders, banks would accept time deposits to lend. The depositor would earn interest for the use of his money, while the bank would earn the spread between the rate it paid to depositors and the rate it charged its borrowers.
Insufficient credit is the first and most voluble objection to a full-reserve banking system. This shortage may or may not occur. If it did, no problem — private finance companies would arise to fill the credit void. They wouldn’t accept deposits, instead they would raise funds by issuing equity and debt. These companies would be free to specialize and lend to what their charters dictate.