This section of the book is from the "Canadian Banking Practice" book, by John T. P. Knight.
Question 445.— A teller in a bank takes from a customer some notes for collection and at his request initials the passbook by way of receipt for the same. The notes are handed over to the collection clerk, who puts them through and in turn he gives them to the accountant to check. One note bears interest at six per cent. The collection clerk does not add the interest to the face of the note, and enters it in the diary for the face amount, the entry being checked by the accountant. On the day of maturity the teller initials for the note in the diary and accepts the face amount, placing the money to the payee's credit. Right months after the payment of the note the payee claims that the interest should have been credited to him and demands the amount. The note is in the promissor's possession, who cannot be found.
At such a late day can the customer demand interest, and has he not to prove that the note bore interest, our books not showing that it did?
Who would be responsible for the amount as among the clerks, the teller or accountant, or should each bear a share ?
Answer.—We think that the bank is undoubtedly responsible to the owner of the note for the amount short collected, if, as a matter of fact, the note was payable with interest. The owner must of course prove this fact before the bank could be called on to pay. o.b.p.-18
As among the clerks it is somewhat difficult to fix the responsibility for the oversight. We would think, however, that it must chiefly rest on the teller. He was handed the voucher, and when he took payment had the document itself on the counter and should have collected the amount according to its terms. We do not think the collection clerk who entered the bill, or the accountant who passed the entry, can be held responsible, although as a matter of fair dealing it must be said that they helped to lead the teller into the mistake.