After the election of officers, the board should call in the subscriptions to the capital stock. The law requires that 50 per cent of the capital stock of a national bank shall be paid in cash and permits the payment of the other 50 per cent in 5 equal monthly instalments. The subscription contract entered into by the prospective shareholders, however, may provide that at the call of the directors payment shall be made of the entire amount due on each share.
The Comptroller requires that every share be issued to bona fide subscribers and be placed when the organization certificate is executed. If the subscriptions are to be paid in instalments, temporary stock certificates are used and the amount of each payment entered thereon; these are exchangeable for permanent certificates when all instalments are paid.
The Comptroller urges the advisability of selling the shares at a premium of 10 per cent or more for the purpose of creating a surplus out of which the organization expenses and the salaries of the officers for the first year or two may be paid. The amount of money expended in a bank building should also be restricted to prudent and economical limits. If the shares are not sold at a premium no dividends should be paid until a substantial surplus is accumulated out of earnings. If the shares are sold at a premium of 20 per cent or more, dividends distributing the whole net earnings may be declared from the first; otherwise a portion of the net earnings must be carried to surplus.
The payments of subscriptions must be certified to the Comptroller by the president or cashier and a majority of the directors. Should a subscriber to stock or his assignee fail to pay any instalment on the stock, the directors of the bank must sell the stock at public auction, after giving three weeks' notice of such sale in a newspaper published in the town or city where the bank is located.
The bank is required to make a subscription to the stock of the federal reserve bank of its district equal to 6 per cent of its own capital and surplus. The basis of payment for the federal reserve bank stock is par value plus 1/2 per cent a month from the time of the last dividend payment.
Upon receipt by the Comptroller of the certificate of these capital payments, the Comptroller issues to the bank its "charter," a certificate which gives the bank authority to do business for a period of 20 years. This certificate authorizing the bank to commence business must be published in the city in which the bank is located, or, if no newspaper is published in the city, then in a county paper or near-by city paper, and this publication must be certified to the Comptroller.