In this department is managed the business of the country banks, and of those customers who live in the country. When the letters are delivered in the morning by the postman, one clerk takes them, and enters in the "Waste-Book the cash enclosed in the letter to the credit of the respective parties. Another clerk takes the letters and enters thelitis in the Country-Bill-Register, the Bill-Ledger, and the Bill-Journal. The letters are then handed to a third clerk, who copies off into a book all the payments, which are to be made immediately in cash. This book is usually called the Draft-book, as the party receiving the money signs a draft for the amount, which is as good as signing a receipt. If the payment is to be made to a banker, he receives notice in a printed form called a memorandum; "but if the payment is ordered to be made to a private individual, he must call for it and claim the exact amount.
A fourth clerk now takes the letters, and enters all the advices (that is, bills advised to be paid when due) in the Advice-Book and in the Advice-Journal. The corresponding clerk who answers the letters usually manages the stock department. Hence he observes the orders to purchase or sell stock, to procure powers of attorney, and other business of that kind. When writing a reply to the letters received, he notices if all the items in the letters are marked by the proper clerks. If anything is wrong he is informed of it. Bankers' letters are usually short and plain, comprising only two or three lines.
Those London bankers who act as agents to banks, or to other parties in the country, will have occasion for the following books. The first seven are kept in the same manner as the corresponding books in the Town Department. All the entries in the Country-Ledger, as well as those in the Town-Ledger, must first pass through the Waste and Day-Books. The credit side of the Ledger is posted from the Bill-Journal and the Day-Book. The debit side is posted from the vouchers themselves, and, like the debit side of the Town-Ledger, will mark against the Paid-Day-Book and the "Clearing-in-Book."
1. A Country-Ledger.
8. Advice-Book.-In this book is entered an account of bills advised to be paid on account of the Country Banks.
This book is kept ledger-wise, each bank having a separate account.
9. Advice-Journal.-This book is similar to the Bill-Journal, and it contains the advices under the heading of the days on which they are to be paid.
10. Credit-Book.-This book contains an account of the credit granted by a country bank in favour of any party. Each party has an account open for him in this book, and the amount of his credit is placed to this account. He is debited for such cheques as he may draw, and the cheques are then passed to the debit of the country bank in the Country-Ledger.
11. Acceptance-Book.-In this book are entered those bills which have been received from the country, and which require the acceptance of the party on whom they are drawn. The entry includes the date when taken out, the name and residence of the drawee, the register-number, and the amount. There are also two vacant columns, in one of which the clerk who takes the bill for acceptance enters his initials when he brings it back; in the second column are entered the initials of another clerk to whom the bills when "brought in from acceptance" are delivered. Though this book is connected with the country department, it is usually kept in the town office.
12. Stock-Book.-London bankers have usually powers of attorney from their correspondents in the country, authorizing them to receive dividends on the Government funds. All these are entered in a book called the Stock-Book. The book is divided into several parts for the different kinds of stock, as 3 percent. Consols, 3 per cent. Reduced, etc, etc. In each division are entered the powers of attorney held by the bank. The entry includes date of the powers, names of the attorneys, names of the holders of the stock, and the amount. These entries should be made a tolerable distance apart from each other, to leave room to notice any alteration that may take place in the amount of the stock either by sales or new purchases.
Every country bank keeps an account with a London bank. The country banker receives from London a weekly statement of his cash accounts, and a monthly account current. The cash account is a copy of the London banker's ledger. But as the London banker does not consider as cash anything which may not be immediately turned into Bank of England notes, the cash account does not exhibit a statement of the undue bills which the country banker may have remitted, nor of the bills which he may have advised to be paid. By means of a monthly account current he has a full view of all these transactions. On the credit side of the account current is entered the total amount of each remittance, whether it consists of bills or cash. These are followed by entries of "extra" sums of cash that have been lodged to the credit of the country bank by parties resident in London. On the debit side of the account current is placed the total amount of the "advices;" that is, of bills advised to be paid, and also any "extra" payments of "drafts" to persons in London. Then the account is balanced, and we have an easy check by which any error that may have crept into either the cash account or the account current is detected. For if both accounts be correct, the amount of advices not yet due, added to the balance of the account current, will be equal to the amount of bills not due, added to the balance of the cash account.