This section of the book is from the "Canadian Banking Practice" book, by John T. P. Knight.
Question 380.— (1) Why are limited companies not required to publish a list of shareholders and to afford information as to their subscribed and paid-up capital, the directors authorized to sign, etc.? This information is necessary as a basis for granting credit. (2) Are limited companies registered in any public office?
Answer.—We think that most companies incorporated in Canada are bound to make an annual return to one or other department of the government, covering a list of their shareholders and a statement of their assets and liabilities. There is no doubt, however, that the principle has not been as fully recognized in legislation as it should be. In our opinion all joint-stock companies should be bound to furnish information very much in the same lines as banks have to send to the Finance Department at Ottawa. Our correspondent asks why they are not, to which we presume the only answer is that public opinion has not thus far pressed sufficiently strong for it. As regarding signing officers, we do not know any way in which the public can be protected except by taking the ordinary precautions, when they are asking to give credit, of making sure they are dealing with the proper officers of the company.