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Practical Banking | by Albert S. Bolles



A detailed, comprehensive guide to banking practices

TitlePractical Banking
AuthorAlbert S. Bolles
PublisherHomans Publishing Company
Year1884
Copyright1884, Homans Publishing Company

PRACTICAL BANKING

ALBERT S. BOLLES,

EDITOR OF THE BANKER'S MAGAZINE. LECTURER ON BANKING AND TRUSTS IN THE LAW DEPARTMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; AUTHOR OF "THE FINANCIAL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES," " INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES," "THE CONFLICT BETWEEN LABOR AND CAPITAL," ETC.

EIGHTH EDITION.

NEW YORK: Homans Publishing Company, 251 Broadway

1892.

Copyright, 1884. By HOMANS PUBLISHING COMPANY.

TO

LYMAN J. GAGE,

President of the American Bankers' Association,

This Book is Dedicated

AS A token of the author's regard for his friendship, and admiration for his rare union of a knowledge of the history and theory of banking and finance with eminent success as a banker.

Part I: Deposit And Discount Banking

-Preface
An explanation is needful concerning the origin and composition of this work. For several years letters have been received by the publisher of the Banker's ...
-Chapter I. The Origin And Nature of Banking
The term bank is supposed to be derived from banco, the Italian word for bench, the Lombard Jews in Italy having benches in the market-place where they ...
-Chapter II. The Utility of Banking
1. Banks are useful as places of security for the deposit of money. Not long ago a Western farmer received nearly ten thousand dollars in specie from the ...
-Chapter III. The National Banking System
As we have seen, the business of banking consists in getting a common fund of money, and in lending a part of it. With this general conception is associated ...
-The National Banking System. Continued
Every National banking association is required to keep on deposit in the Treasury of the United States a sum equal to five per centum of its circulation, which ...
-Chapter IV. State Banks
Although 2,589 banks (April 24) are in the National system, nearly eleven hundred banks are flourishing under State regulations. These in most cases existed ...
-Chapter V. How Banks Are Organized And Issue Notes
The subject of this chapter was so well handled by a cashier of a National Bank several years ago, at a meeting of the American Bankers' Association, that his ...
-How Banks Are Organized And Issue Notes. Part 2
Another mistake of the same kind is, the claim that the banks make large amounts out of the lost bills. I have heard it said that fully a quarter part of all ...
-How Banks Are Organized And Issue Notes. Part 3
There is another side to this story, also. When a bank obtains circulation and loans the money derived from it in a community, the people in the region are ...
-Chapter VI. The Bank President
The president is the chief executive officer of the bank, and presides at the meetings of the Board of Directors, but is not necessarily the business head or ...
-The Bank President. Part 2
As. correct sentiments beget correct conduct, a banker ought to apprehend correctly the objects of banking. They consist in making pecuniary gains for the ...
-The Bank President. Part 3
Independently of the wealth of the endorser, the banks derive from him a security founded on the natural desire of every borrower to protect his friends, ...
-The Bank President. Part 4
Sometimes a country merchant will draw on a merchant of New York, and obtain thereon a discount at some country bank. The draft will have some months to run ...
-The Bank President. Part 5
But ordinarily every banker is presented with more business than he can assume, and he is enabled to select the more profitable and reject the less profitable.
-The Bank President. Part 6
Country banks being subject, at certain seasons, to a demand for currency, every judicious banker will endeavor to so select the loans which he makes during a ...
-The Bank President. Part 7
As a banker will lend to the extent of his ability, that he may make for his bank all the gains in his power, he must be well acquainted with the pecuniary ...
-The Bank President. Part 8
A banker will be often subjected to importunity by persons who will desire a deviation from the usual modes of banking. They will propose a relaxation of good ...
-The Bank President. Part 9
When solicited by a neighbor or a friend, few men possess vigor enough, or conscientiousness enough, to refuse a recommendation, or to state therein all they ...
-Chapter VII. Directors' Meetings And Discounting
We may properly open this chapter with some general remarks concerning the duties of bank directors. Whatever may be their shortcomings they usually begin ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 2
That the board should legislate, supervise and appoint, but not execute, occasioned probably the exclusion from the directorship that early prevailed, and ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 3
His salary should be liberal, for nature will not otherwise produce the activity of mind and body that are essential to his duties. Besides, he must engage in ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 4
The ticklers of a bank are books which show in detail the debts due, prospectively to a bank, and the days of payment. The aggregate footing of the ticklers ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 5
* This portion of the chapter, to page 58, is from the pen of George Walker, concerning whom proper mention is made in the preface of this work. To reduce it ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 6
Keeping in mind the definition already given, and which I now repeat, that the true function of banking is to bridge over the periods of credit which ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 7
A class of loans which has done more than any other to bring our banking institutions to grief, within the last twenty years, is that on railroad bonds. It is ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 8
The regular meetings of Boards of Directors in most banks are held twice a week, but in some banks meetings are held daily. The mode of discounting paper ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 9
No bank manager, however long and ably he may have served a bank, ought to be permitted to conduct its affairs without supervision. Directors who do not direct ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 10
Once when notes were for a longer period, and notes were almost universally given for purchases, they were generally drawn to the maker's order, and read for ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 11
In negotiating paper note-brokers sometimes endorse it. Follet, whom we have previously mentioned, guaranteed all the paper he sold, and thus became ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 12
In some States, though the rule is not uniform, the law requires that for a collateral to be good security when delivered to the bank, stock must be actually ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 13
Every bank should know as much as possible concerning each of its dealers, and the information obtained should be carefully recorded and preserved. In a large ...
-Directors' Meetings And Discounting. Part 14
Distribute your loans rather than concentrate them in a few hands. Large loans to a single individual or firm, although some times proper and necessary, are ...
-Chapter VIII. The Cashier
We have already said that every bank had a leading business official who was either the president, vice-president or cashier. The presidents of the country ...
-The Cashier. Continued
The number of letters daily received by a bank having a large correspondence may be from two hundred to two thousand. Most of them are formal, containing a ...
-Chapter IX. The Paying Teller
Having described the duties of the cashier, we will describe those of the paying teller, which are regarded as next in importance. He is frequently called the ...
-The Paying Teller. Part 2
In paying a note or acceptance to a bank or banker, instead of drawing bank notes for the amount, the payer should request the paying teller of the bank in ...
-The Paying Teller. Part 3
When the debit exchange is thus received it must be carefully examined. From what has been said already the reader will understand that it consists of checks ...
-The Paying Teller. Part 4
All checks that have passed the paying teller's examination are given to a clerk for entry on his check list, and are charged to their respective accounts in ...
-The Paying Teller. Part 5
Merchants in distant cities usually make their notes payable in a New York City bank and remit the money to pay them previous to their maturing. These ...
-Chapter X. The Receiving Teller
This official ranks next to the paying teller, and usually succeeds him when he is promoted. The accounts of a bank may be divided into the following classes: ...
-The Receiving Teller. Continued
There is a protective feature in many accounts which prevent banks from losing by overdraft; we mean when dealers have notes deposited for collection. For, ...
-Chapter XI. The Note Teller
The note teller receives the letters and the money for all promissory notes liquidated at the bank. In small banks his duties may be blended with those of the ...
-The Note Teller. Continued
This letter is given to the note teller, who writes his initial as his receipt for each check that he takes from it for credit to the remitting bank. In the ...
-Chapter XII. The Discount Clerk
As we have seen, the profits of banking are composed of interest on money in other words, of interest, discount and exchange. The loans are called discounts, ...
-Chapter XIII. Collections
An immense number of notes are given in liquidation of purchases and other obligations, and which sooner or later are delivered to banks for collection. Our ...
-Collections. Continued
After the notes have been timed, they are numbered on the back and end, and recorded in the Collection Register. From this book the notes are copied into the ...
-Chapter XIV. The Bookkeeper
Mathematical accuracy is one of the prime virtues of an accountant. It is nowhere more important than in bank bookkeeping. While the affairs of a bank are ...
-Accounts Of Depositors
The depositors' accounts, in an institution doing a general banking business, absorb much the greatest attention of the book-keepers. Eternal vigilance is a ...
-The Deposit Slip
In the tenth chapter of this work are described the duties of the receiving teller. Depositors come oftener in contact with the receiving teller than with any ...
-The Depositor's Pass-Book
The depositor's pass-book is a small account book. Upon the left-hand page, or debit side, the deposits are entered; the right-hand, or credit pages are used ...
-Depositors' Ledgers
The postings to the depositors' accounts are sometimes made direct from the deposit slips on the one side, and from the checks on other. Form of Depositors' ...
-Depositors' Ledgers. Continued
Form 4, or what is commonly known as the Boston method, possesses some advantages which have influenced its adoption in many places. It is intended to serve as ...
-Depositors' Balance Ledger
The illustration presented under the title Depositors' Balance Ledger represents a portion of a page of a book extensively used by the large banking ...
-The Principal Books
The number and character of the books of a bank which make up the general set varies according to the volume of business transacted. The routine practiced is ...
-The Principal Books. Part 2
For all that has been done up to this time, it was not necessary that the company should have a place of business of its own. It may have had one, however, and ...
-The Principal Books. Part 3
Form of Credit Journal. Washington, January 2, 1885. Form of Debit Journal. Discount. (5.) Sold drafts on Nat. Park, New York, as follows: C. Goodnow, $4,000, ...
-The Offering Book
Chapter VII. is devoted chiefly to the subject of discounting paper. The information there given is so explicit that nothing remains to be said here more than ...
-Chapter XV. The Runner And Porter
He is a young man, and occupies the lowest position in the bank. He is simply a messenger to collect drafts and notes. Boys are hired who are eighteen to ...
-Chapter XVI. Dealings In Exchange
A bill of exchange is a familiar instrument, for it is one of the oldest used in commerce. It may be defined as an order by a person on another living in a ...
-Dealings In Exchange. Part 2
The transactions in cotton, for example, exceed three hundred millions a year, a large portion of which is consigned to houses in the North, who make advances ...
-Dealings In Exchange. Part 3
When a draft is offered for sale, how much will a bank pay for it? To answer this question clearly a brief explanation is necessary. If the business men in New ...
-Dealings In Exchange. Part 4
St. Louis. 50c. per $ 1,000 premium. Chicago, 75c. per $ 1,000 premium. Boston, par@5c. per $ 1,000 discount. When a Charleston bank, for example, buys ...
-Chapter XVII. Private Banks
Although of less relative importance than formerly they were, private banks continue to maintain a good standing, and prove well adapted to some phases of the ...
-Private Banks. Continued
The general character and function of the private banks is shown by their small averages, and also by their geographical distributions. Nearly two-thirds of ...
-Chapter XVIII. Country Banking
General principles of banking apply alike to banks irrespective of location. Details in conducting the business may be materially influenced by the bank's ...
-Country Banking. Continued
On the debit side of the deposit journal appear all checks and certificates of deposit paid; on the credit side are deposits received and certificates of ...

Part II: Savings Banks

-Chapter I. Utility of Savings Banks
This class differs from State or National banks in that they have no special capital owned by a few or by many individuals, but their capital is the deposited ...
-Utility of Savings Banks. Part 2
Recently, while examining a discount bank, I found twelve pass books from several different banks, and in four different names, but all belonging to the same ...
-Utility of Savings Banks. Part 3
Third. The Savings institution does not hoard money. Some men object to the Savings institution because it withholds money from circulation. This is an obvious ...
-Utility of Savings Banks. Part 4
Their great success will spare your own pockets; their great success will add to the total of the resources which can find profitable employment in this land; ...
-Chapter II. Janitor
In order to give the reader as clear an idea as possible of the interior workings of the modern Savings bank, we will describe the functions and the daily ...
-Chapter III. The Depositor
As a convenient, though perhaps unfamiliar name, we will call our typical depositor John Smith. John Smith arrives at the bank soon after its opening on the ...
-The Depositor. Part 2
This pass book has stamped upon it, both on the outside and inside, the same number which stands opposite the depositor's name in the signature book, and this ...
-The Depositor. Part 3
Besides the individual deposit which John Smith or Mary Smith may have made in their own names, there are various other forms. Frequently, money is deposited ...
-Chapter IV. Receiving Teller
After the doors of the vault have been opened in the morning he takes out the large tin box containing his cash, and closed by his own combination lock.
-Receiving Teller. Continued
For convenience, the tickets are frequently assorted, proximately into numerical order, before writing them up. The only advantage In this is that it ...
-Chapter V. The Paying Teller
It has already been explained, in connection with the receiving teller, that the moneys received by him are the principal sources of supply to the paying ...
-Chapter VI. The Bookkeeper
The bookkeeping department of the Savings bank has charge, solely, of the accounts with depositors. The general accounts of investments, income and expenditure, ...
-The Bookkeeper. Continued
A Monthly Proof is also made, which involves the total transactions for the month, and the aggregate balance of each ledger, being a summary trial balance; and ...
-Chapter VII. The Treasurer
This officer is elected by the board of trustees, and holds office at their pleasure. He may or may not be a member of the board, but it is customary that, he ...
-The Treasurer. Part 2
All the documents, except the application and abstract, are kept in a single envelope, headed with the number of the loan, and they retain this number so long ...
-Chapter VIII. The Secretary
The secretary is supposed to be the accounting officer of the bank. It is his duty to know, from its books and records, the state of the institution in every ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book
Line 1. has no vouchers. 1b relating to the Vault, cannot have one, as it merely completes an operation which, like 15, was interrupted by the arrival of the ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book. Part 2
Line 12, 13. These are totals of the checks taken on deposit by each teller during the day. They are included in the amounts $375.77 and $179.07, for which the ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book. Part 3
The voucher or document given by the banks where we deposit is in the pass-book entries; it is made immediately in the case of deposits, but in checks not till ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book. Part 4
The primary vouchers of the deposit department, as already mentioned, are the deposit tickets and draft tickets, but it would be inconvenient, from the number ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book. Part 5
As the last day of the month approaches, at the close of which it is the duty of this committee to make its examination, the secretary begins to fill in the ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book. Part 6
Schedule A No. 3, is a special list of those mortgages, the interest on which is more than six months in arrears. By the law, in the State of New York, any ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book. Part 7
Second. I hold to the opinion that the cost or purchase price of this piece of real estate is not $11,197, but $9,000. It is true that the entire investment ...
-References and Explanations to Daily Cash Book. Part 8
To find the total drafts of six months, add together the drafts of January, February, March, April, May, and June successively, and similarly with the deposits.
-Chapter IX. The President
In many Savings banks the duties which have been described as shared between the treasurer and secretary, are divided between the president and treasurer, or ...
-Chapter X. The Board Of Trustees
This body is the ultimate governing power of the bank. It is the final jurisdiction, from which there is no appeal within the bank, and in fact there is no ...
-Chapter XI. The Attorney
The peculiarity of Anglo-Saxon law with regard to its arbitrary distinctions between real and personal property is well illustrated by the fact that a Savings ...
-Chapter XII. State Supervision And Reports
In many, but not all of the States, officers are appointed for the purpose of supervising and regulating Savings and other banks and their affairs. In New York ...
-State Supervision And Reports. Continued
The advocates of this theory consider that they are acting on the safe side. They consider the premium as a loss, once for all; therefore, at a period of ...
-Chapter XIII. How Investments Should Be Made
We shall close this part of our work by giving some rules relating to Savings banks' investments. The Legislatures of the several States have adopted ...
-How Investments Should Be Made. Part 2
Bonuses and discounts on buying securities should not be sought or allowed. They tend to drive away the best-secured loans, and to introduce a speculative ...
-How Investments Should Be Made. Part 3
Railway bonds, secured by first mortgage on the entire road,would seem a safe class of investment with the exercise of ordinary prudence, and at one time were ...

Part III: Clearing-Houses

-Chapter I. Origin And Utility of The Clearing-House
Closely connected with the general subject of banking is that of the Clearing-house. This is a comparatively modern institution, the; Edinburgh bankers ...
-Origin And Utility of The Clearing-House. Part 2
In this country no one bank concentrates in itself the larger portion of the business. Free banking and competition keep the banks more nearly on an equality.
-Chapter II. Organization And Mechanical Arrangements
To establish a Clearing-house a number of banks associate themselves together, under certain regulations more or less elaborate, according to circumstances, ...
-Chapter III. Preparation Of The Exchange
The following analysis of Clearing-house transactions is specially applicable to New York and Boston. The peculiarities of other Clearing-houses will be ...
-Preparation Of The Exchange. Continued
On the next page is reproduced an actual Settling Clerk's Statement of one of the Boston banks, showing an exact transcript of the bank's transactions with the ...
-Chapter IV. How Clearings Are Made
At a few minutes before ten o'clock the clerks begin to arrive at the Clearing-house, and each settling clerk as he enters passes to the manager's desk, his ...
-How Clearings Are Made. Continued
This is passed to the manager's desk. The amount brought has been already, as before stated, entered in the credit column of the Clearing-house proof. The ...
-Chapter V. How Outside Banks Make Clearings
In addition to the banks which are members of the Association, most of the other New York City banks effect their exchanges through the Clearing-house by the ...
-Chapter VI. Payment of Balances
The exchanges being completed, the next step is the payment of balances. At New York the balances must be paid by the debtor banks to the Clearing-house ...
-Chapter VII. Clearing-House Certificates
The labor, responsibility and risk attending the handling of the funds used in paying the balances have been greatly abridged by the use of certificates. These ...
-Chapter VIII. The Records Kept And Their Uses
The payment of the balances being completed there remains the duty of making up a record of the day's business for preservation and future reference. This is a ...
-Chapter IX. Fines
The minor delinquencies of the banks in their relations with the Clearing-house are dealt with by means of fines. The following scale of fines at New York will ...
-Chapter X. History of The New York Clearing-House
The first proposition for the establishment of a Clearing-house in New York was made by Albert Gallatin in 1841. To Mr. Geo. D. Lyman, the first manager of the ...
-Chapter XI. Clearing-Houses Outside of New York
The Boston Clearing-house, like that of New York, has had but two managers, Mr. Henry B. Grove, from the organization of the Clearing-house in 1855 to his ...
-Clearing-Houses Outside of New York. Part 2
At Chicago all checks and vouchers exchanged at the clearing are held in trust only by the member receiving the same until returned, or the amount thereof paid.
-Clearing-Houses Outside of New York. Part 3
The regulations of the San Francisco Clearing-house are very similar to those at New York. As at Philadelphia, there are two clearings daily, these being the ...
-Clearing-Houses Outside of New York. Part 4
At Pittsburgh the hour for clearing is nine o'clock A. M., and the average time occupied is twelve minutes. The checks to be exchanged are put up in large, ...
-Clearing-Houses Outside of New York. Part 5
The Detroit Clearing-house is conducted on principles similar to those of the Chicago Association. The clerks, as well as the manager, furnish bonds with ...
-Clearing-Houses Outside of New York. Part 6
At Memphis the exchanges occur at nine o'clock a. m., and the time consumed by the manager in the adjustment of balances is about thirty minutes. In settlement ...
-Chapter XII. Foreign Clearing-Houses
Of foreign Clearing-houses, by far the most important is that of London, embracing twenty-seven banks, including the Bank of England, which only became a ...
-Foreign Clearing-Houses. Part 2
The matter cleared at the morning clearing consists, as a rule, of bills and marked checks. These bills are bills which have been discounted by the bank or ...
-Foreign Clearing-Houses. Part 3
The In-clearing Book of each clerk ought to agree, of course, with the portions relating to him of the Out-clearing Books of the other clerks. The Out-clearing ...
-Foreign Clearing-Houses. Part 4
Balances are settled at the close of each day by transfers on the books of the Bank of England, at which a special account is kept, called the Clearing Bankers' ...
-Foreign Clearing-Houses. Part 5
As the balances paid and the balances received are the same (errors excepted), so the amount credited to the clearing bankers' account each day must be the ...
-Foreign Clearing-Houses. Part 6
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.
-Chapter XIII. Country Clearings
At London, as already stated, the country Clearing-house has been in operation since 1858. But in this country clearing methods have hitherto been applied only ...
-Country Clearings. Continued
It was found, on inquiry, that as a National bank cannot subscribe to the stock of another National bank, the proposed plan was not feasible. The steady ...

Part IV: Loan And Trust Companies

-Chapter I. History And Scope of Loan And Trust Companies
Loan and trust companies may, with propriety, be termed American institutions. They had their birth in this country. Charters under which some are working ...
-Chapter II. How Business Is Conducted
A number of persons desire to construct gas works. The city where the works are to be built promises a liberal support to the enterprise. The project has been ...
-How Business Is Conducted. Part 2
A party of gentlemen, for instance, organize a company to build a railroad which shall run through several States. They cannot among themselves raise the ...
-How Business Is Conducted. Part 3
When the holder of shares of a corporation sells his stock, and the purchaser wishes the transfer recorded on the books of the company he must present to the ...

Part V: Appendix

-Banking As A Profession For Young Men
It is generally true in mercantile life and in the learned professions, and always true in banking, that in order to insure success, a young man must have some ...
-Banking As A Profession For Young Men. Continued
It is impossible to name exactly the amount of salary a young man may expect to receive. It depends a little upon the locality and size of the bank, and a ...
-Advice To Depositors
If you are a stranger to the officers, and wish to open an account, get some respectable person who is known to them to introduce you either to the President ...
-Suggestions To Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession
* This essay, by Lorenzo Sabine, of Framingham, Mass., was originally published in the Banker's Magazine in January, 1852. A few changes have been made to ...
-Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession. Part 2
You should become acquainted with the laws relative to banking, and especially with those of your own State; and should be familiar with some work which treats ...
-Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession. Part 3
This general inquiry concluded, he will have improved his own mind, and be ready to meet and to reason with those who, because the system has not been ...
-Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession. Part 4
Should you acquire a reputation, you may be solicited to change your place; or, becoming discontented, may seek to do so on your own motion. In the former case ...
-Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession. Part 5
Never speak of the real or supposed faults of character of a director in the social circle, nor bear tales or remarks from one director to another. Whatever ...
-Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession. Part 6
Speculation in stocks is another fruitful source of ruin, and I cannot forbear a word of admonition. The careful investment of your earnings or patrimony, and ...
-Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession. Part 7
The honor of a cashier and the honor of a woman are alike. Suspicion of either in the public mind is as fatal to reputation as convicted guilt. Stand by, stand ...
-Young Cashiers On The Duties Of Their Profession. Part 8
It is possible that your predecessor allowed improper indulgences to a particular director, or had favorites among your customers, and that you will feel ...
-On The Protection of Banks And Other Moneyed Institutions From Losses Through Defaulting Officers
* This Paper was prepared and read by Albert S. Bolles, at the Chicago Convention of the The surrounding of the deposits and securities held by the corporate ...
-On The Protection of Banks From Losses. Part 2
Another guard might be established. The depositor might be required to make two tickets describing his deposits, leaving one with the discount clerk or other ...
-On The Protection of Banks From Losses. Part 3
Two purposes would be accomplished by such management of the money deposits. In the first place, the portion put away in the vault would be doubly secured; and, ...
-On The Protection of Banks From Losses. Part 4
They are, perhaps, more needed in country banks than in the larger city banks, for the reason that in the former class, which have fewer officials, fraud can ...
-On The Protection of Banks From Losses. Part 5
An Englishman once remarked that twice he came near losing everything once when he lost a lawsuit, and the other time was when he gained one. The story of ...









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