It is sometimes said that a banker to whom a customer has paid in moneys for his current account is a trustee of such monevs, but this is a mistake. The true relation between a banker and customer is that of debtor and creditor only, with an obligation on the part of the banker to discharge the debt in a particular manner. So clearly is this the case that if, after paying money into the hands of a cashier to the credit of his account, which is not overdrawn, the customer should suddenly suspect the solvency of the bank, he cannot withdraw it except by check. In the same way, the moment a bank clerk in cashing a check has placed notes or money in the control of the person presenting the check there is actual delivery and possession, and he cannot take them back. Should a customer overdraw his accouut the bank is not bound to offer the sum really due him, but can rightly refuse to honor the check.
When a check is indorsed the indorsee can bring an action against the drawer, just as the indorsee of a bill can sue the acceptor. A check is not an assignment of any portion of a debt due from a banker to his customer, but simply a request with which the banker has promised to comply. Should the latter fail to meet his engagement to pay, all things being in order, the customer can bring an action against him and although no actual loss has been sustained, will be entitled to nominal damages, as the obligation of a banker to honor his customers' checks rests upon a clear and distinct promise or agreement to that effect, which arises from the course of business and the nature of the transaction. There can be an indorsement in blank or a special indorsement of a check. The post-dating of a check drawn to the bearer, or order, in no wise affects its validity, and a person taking it bona fide and for value has a perfectly good title.
Every banker who honestly pays a check drawn upon himself is entitled to charge the sum he so pays to the account of his customer, although the signature of the payee or indorser has been forged. A banker is bound to know the signature of his custo" mer, and therefore, if he pays a check bearing the lat-ter's forged signature he cannot charge the customer's account with the sum so paid. And if the amount payable on check has been fraudulently altered, the banker who pays it can only recover from his customer the sum for which it was originally drawn. But when there is evidence that the great negligence of the drawer clearly afforded opportunity for the alteration of the check, the customer may have to bear the loss himself if there has been no want of care on the part of the banker in cashing the check. - "Scientific Press. "