III. Joint-stock banks have a principal officer, called a manager.
" The prudent and satisfactory management of a Joint-stock bank very materially depends upon the upright and consistent discharge of those social duties and reciprocal interchanges of confidence which ought to characterize the directors and manager.
"The manager, from his experience, and the importance of the office he fills, is entitled to the kind consideration and entire confidence of the directors. He is selected by them to occupy an arduous and highly responsible situation, and ought to be rewarded not merely with an adequate pecuniary remuneration, but with the respect and friendship of the directors, by whom he should be considered in every respect, so far as regards the bank, at least upon an equally elevated footing. Without the confidence and friendship of the directors, he can neither take his place at their meetings free from restraint.
discuss with them matters relating to the welfare of the establishment with composure, nor appear before the customers with that satisfaction and independence which is required to the proper discharge of his duties. Having placed him in the position of manager of the bank, it is their duty always to contemplate him in that light, to respect and confide in his opinions and conduct, which in many cases have been formed by long years of active and arduous employment in the profession; and to speak well of him among their friends and acquaintances. In the degree in which the manager is respected, and well spoken of by the directors, will respect and confidence be extended to him, and consequently to the establishment, by the public, and a good opinion entertained of their judgment and discernment in his selection.
"The conduct of the manager ought to be characterized by great circumspection and uprightness. He ought, unquestionably, in every instance, to be chosen for his business qualifications, and not because he is a rich man, a gentleman, a man of fashion, or a man with an extensive circle of friends. To choose him on account of any one of these qualifications, and not principally from his practical experience of banking, would be similar to appointing a man to the care and management of a steam-engine, who knew nothing of its mechanism, nor the nature of its operation, but was recommended solely because he had a taste for travelling; or it would be like placing a man at the helm to pilot a vessel over quicksands, and through a reef of rocks, who knew nothing of a seafaring life, but was fond of contemplating the grandeur of the elements. The manager of a joint-stock bank ought to be chosen exclusively for his experience in banking; other qualifications are well enough in their own place, but ought never to be taken into consideration in choosing a person to act as manager of a bank. In this way a stimulus is given to persons of talent, who may be looking forward to the reward of a life of toil and drudgery; and thus merit is patronized and protected. In a well-regulated office no one will be promoted over the head of another, but a prudent selection being made at the outset, a system of regular promotion should be uniformly practised.
"The manager of a bank may be contemplated in three important points - in his intercourse with the customers and the public; with the directors; and with the subordinate officers of a bank In each of these departments he has important duties to perform. He must be scrupulously diligent in his attention to the affairs of the bank, courteous in his interviews with the public, affable and unreserved in his communications with the directors, and kind and conciliating towards the subordinates of the bank, treating them as those who may be one day placed in a similar situation with himself. The days are now gone past when a man of business was considered in the light of a machine - a mere automaton for the purpose of forming figures and casting up accounts; but it is still necessary, enlarged as our views of the powers and capabilities of the human mind are, in order to the proper management of any business, that it be carefully attended to. The manager of a joint-stock bank, being allowed a competent salary, cannot be justified in occupying his time with any other employment which may occasion his absence from the duties of the bank. But it is not intended to insinuate that he must be a man of one idea, and restrained from turning his mental acquirements to his own amusement or profit. This would be as absurd as it would be unreasonable. Nor is it meant that a man of business may not be also a man of great erudition, and it may happen, of literary and scientific eminence. On the contrary, it cannot be denied that, in the present day, this is often the case. What is contended for is, that the bank is entitled to, and ought to have, his close and chief attention.
"As it is obvious that he cannot manage any other trade or profession, without sacrificing or delegating more or less the duties he owes to the bank; it seems also very doubtful whether he can be justified in taking a prominent part in public or political affairs. There are two arguments against his being a public character: the first is, that he may be drawn away during the hoars of business; the second, that, by becoming a partisan, he is certain of being more or less obnoxious to a portion of the inhabitants, and, it may be, of the bank's customers. A man whose mind is occupied in framing political speeches, in promoting political schemes, and whose time is partially given to political, magisterial, or other meetings, cannot possibly, from the exciting nature of such subjects, give that cool, deliberate, and uniform attention, to the duties of the bank which they necessarily require.