Question 26.— What holidays may a bank observe? In the case of a civic holiday, where all the banks in the place, finding by 12 o'clock that the bills they hold have all been arranged for, close their offices at that hour, what is the result if some private holder of a bill due that day, or of a cheque, presents the same after the bank is closed, and it is thereby dishonoured?

Answer.—Banks in Canada may legally observe any holiday they choose to keep, provided that in closing up their offices they are not breaking their contract with their customers, which may be either expressed or implied. A bank which opens a current account in effect agrees with the customer that it will be ready to honour his cheques if presented within the ordinary business hours recognized among bankers. If it should without notice decide not to open or not to keep open the office on any particular business day, and the customer's cheque should thereby be dishonoured, we think it would be liable to him for damages.

The existing practice among banks, of keeping someone in the office on holidays which are not statutory holidays, to answer demands such as the above, seems to imply an understanding on this point which amounts to a contract, but this may be modified, on reasonable notice, to any degree. We would think it reasonable that banks, in common with their neighbours, should keep the local holidays, and that it should be understood that as soon as all notes and acceptances due have been arranged, the offices will be closed for the day. The closing of the offices on any day after reasonable notice involves no responsibility.