This section is from the "Practical Banking" book, by Albert S. Bolles.
The Dublin Clearing-house comprises four banks—all the banks of issue in Ireland—and was established in 1845. The capital of the four banks is ,£ 5,040,000. There are two clearings—in the forenoon, for notes and checks at 10 o'clock; afternoon, final clearing for checks at two o'clock. On Saturdays the hours are 9.30 A. M. and 12 A.m. Banks are admitted to the exchange for fifteen minutes after these hours. Balances are paid in Exchequer bonds, except for fractional parts of £ 500, which may be paid in notes of the debtor bank, the Exchequer bonds to be used for no other purpose, and to be stamped "Dublin Exchanges." Each bank is required to maintain its quota of a total of ,£400,000 of these bonds. The exchanges are made at the Bank of Ireland. All orders payable on demand, whether in Dublin or in country towns, are to be passed through the Clearing-house. Documents returned dishonored are not allowed to pass through the Clearing-house. Those banks in Dublin which are not banks of issue are not members of the Association, but deposit the checks they hold on other banks with the Bank of Ireland, with which they keep an account.
In preparing the foregoing account of British Clearing-houses free use has been made of Gilbart on Banking and Jevons' Money and the Mechanism of Exchange, and of a series of articles recently published in the London Banker's Magazine on the Clearing-house system.
The Liverpool Clearing Association was formed, according to United States Consul S. B. Packard, about 1878, and embraced, in 1882, ten of the Liverpool banks, leaving six establishments, mostly private banks, outside. These banks keep clearing accounts with each other of all checks drawn on any of their number. Each bank every evening makes up in its own books the accounts with each of the other clearing banks, and settles the balances due from, or to it by means of transfers through the Bank of England's Liverpool branch, with which all the clearing banks keep an account. The capital of the Liverpool clearing banks, exclusive of two private banks, was, in 1882, ,£3,815,110.
Clearing-houses were established at Paris and Vienna in 1872. At the latter, in fact, there are two Clearing-houses, the Bankers' Clearing-house, and the Arrangement Bureau, or Stock Exchange Clearing-house. The latter alone has transactions of any great magnitude. The volume of the check exchange is small, as most of the public find bank notes cheaper and more convenient than checks, which are subject to a tax of two kreutzers (about 1 cent) each, regardless of size. The Paris Clearing-house has been already noticed. In 1876 a system of check exchange was started in Berlin, and developed to such proportions that in 1883 Clearing-houses were established in Berlin (April 2d), Frankfort-on-the-main (April 25), and Cologne, Stuttgart, Leipsic, Dresden, and lastly Hamburg, in the course of the summer. The President of the Imperial Bank Directorium states that these institutions are not widely different from the Clearing-houses of London and New York. The most important of the German Clearing-houses are those of Berlin, Hamburg, and Frankfort-on-the-main, the others falling far behind these. Previous to last December the volume of transactions at these Clearing-houses was not published. For December the aggregate for all was 887,546,700 marks, and in January, 1884, 930,707,700 marks, or at the rate of 11,168,492,400 marks—or about $2,680,000,000—for the year. This is a little more than Chicago, and a little less than Philadelphia. There are fourteen Clearing-houses in Italy, located at Milan, Leghorn, Genoa, Catania, Rome, Bologna, and other places. The transactions of these six Clearing-houses amounted, in 1884, to 1,685,345,781 f., or about $325,000,000, those of Milan and Leghorn being the only ones of importance.
The Banks' Clearing-house of Melbourne, Australia, is analogous to the other British Clearing-houses. On ordinary days there are six clearings; on Saturdays four; on Mondays eight; on Tuesdays five. An exchange slip accompanies each charge delivered at the Clearing-house. There is a special clearing for checks returned dishonored for any cause. Balances are paid every Tuesday, all even sums of £ 500 and upwards in sovereigns or parchment vouchers. These vouchers are issued against a deposit of sovereigns at one of the banks under the care of trustees, and are of denominations of £ 500 and £ 1,000. The total issue is ,£500,000. All sums under £ 500 are settled by checks, which are paid into a Clearing-house account kept at one of the banks. Bank notes have been included in the clearing since 1876.