This section of the book is from the "Canadian Banking Practice" book, by John T. P. Knight.
Question 43.— Bank "A." sends in an item to Bank " B." due to-day for acceptance, Bank " B." accepts it, and Bank " A." immediately sends it in on their deposit of the same day. The item is for $4,500. Bank " A." asks Bank " B." for a settlement. Bank " B." protests to Bank " A." against sending in such items on deposit on the same day they are due, claiming that it is not customary to do so. Bank " A." replies that it is quite customary when the items are large and there is no clearing house in the town. The custom heretofore prevailing here was the accepting of items the day they are due and sending them on deposit the next day. What is the custom in other places in this respect?
While Bank "A." was legally justified in their action, was it not violating a regular and established custom ?
Answer.—There was no impropriety in Bank " A." requiring immediate payment of the item.
Banking Hours—Standard and Solar Time.
Question 44—The city of St. John proposes adopting Atlantic Standard time (which is 24 minutes in advance of Solar time) on 15th June, and expects the banks and business houses to regulate their hours by the new time. If the banks do so it will mean their opening at 9.26 and closing at 2.36 Solar time. Can they legally do this, or must their opening and closing hours be governed by Solar time? I understand that in Ontario many towns have adopted Standard time. Has the government passed any legislation authorizing them to do this?
Answer.—So far as the rights of a bank respecting opening and closing are concerned, it has the matter entirely in its own hands, and can open or close whenever it sees fit, provided it does not thereby commit any breach of the contract with its customers which may be implied from the course customarily followed. This contract would be controllable by the bank on any reasonable notice of a change.
So far as we know, the only question of time which would be affected by such a change as you mention is the protest of bills, which cannot be made until after three o'clock in the afternoon. (See Bills of Exchange Act, section 51 "B"). At most places in Canada the banks close by Standard time, and the protests are no doubt made at any time after three o'clock, Standard time. The whole point involved here is whether a presentment by the notary before three o'clock is in order or not. But as notice of dishonour given by a notary would be perfectly valid whether the protest was made before or after three o'clock, the most that could result from protest made before three o'clock would be the inability to collect costs of protest.
The Dominion Parliament has not, so far as we know, passed any legislation respecting the adoption of Standard time. In Ontario it has been adopted as the legal time; E. S. 0. chapter 144.