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but simply the names of the transferees, be they one or many. Where, therefore, the stock is put into the names of particular persons, but the intention is that they should only stand possessed of it as trustees for others at once or in succession, then these trusts may be declared by some deed or will, but cannot appear on the books of the bank, and all that the bank knows about the stock is, that it belongs to A and B (the trustees). On the death of one it will belong to the other; and on his death it will belong to his executors or adminis trators.
If, therefore, the trustee sells out the fund, and misappropriates it in violation of his trust, the bank is not responsible. A summary process is provided by statute, by which, on application to the Court of Chancery, any person beneficially entitled to any public stock, or any share thereof, standing in the name of a trustee, may compel the authorities to refrain from transferring the stock, and to give notice of any attempt to do so on the part of the trustee.
Being a chose in action, funded property does not properly come under the head of money or goods and chattels, and would not be included under those terms if used in a deed. In a will, however, where the context clearly shows that the testator meant to include such property, those words would pass it; as in one case the words "all my money in the Bank of England" was held to pass the testator's funded property, he having no banking account at the bank to which the words could apply. The more proper designation, however, would be my "money in the public funds," naming the particular kind of stock or not, as might be thought necessary.
Fundholders and those who have an interest in the funds have a right, which the Court of Chancery will enforce, of inspecting and copying entries relating to the stock in which they are interested, and the transfers of such stock. And the bank is bound to furnish to such persons, on application, a list of the books containing entries relating to the stock in which they are interested.
4. To show the importance of transacting the businessof the National Debt, it is only necessary to state that the debt amounts to £749,135,911, which amount is divisible into any number of accounts, with only one limit-that
no one is allowed to have a smaller account than the value of one penny.
The number of accounts opened at the present time is 280,000, and for every account an order, or what is called a warrant, is made out every half-year, for the payment of dividends, from each of which a separate deduction has to be made for income-tax, which latter the bank pays over to the Government in one gross sum at each half-yearly payment of dividends.
The title to every particle of stock is given on the responsibility of the bank, and although the stock may have been transferred, under a forged power of attorney, no question can ever arise affecting the right or title of the holder when once the stock has passed into his name, unless he himself were cognizant of the fraud, but the liability will devolve on the bank.
Since the passing of the Act 4 and 5 Will. IV, cap. 15, which remodelled the Exchequer, and provided that all the future payments on account of the public revenue should be made to the Bank of England direct, the arrangements for public payments have been greatly simplified. They are now made by drafts of the Paymaster-General on the bank, many of which pass into bankers' hands, and are adjusted by simple transfers to their accounts with the bank.
The agency of the bank is also employed with great advantage in the receipt of the public revenues. Wherever there is a branch of that establishment, a clerk attends the Collector of the Inland Revenue on his rounds, and carries the money received to public account. The next day credit is given for it in the Exchequer account with the bank in London.
The branches of the bank established at the most considerable ports are in like manner made available for the remittance of Custom duties, which are daily paid in to them by the collectors, and credited to the public in London.
The risk, delay, and expense of transmitting public moneys to London through other channels are avoided, by these simple arrangements, and temptations to fraud are almost, if not entirely, removed.
These facilities and advantages are derived from the employment by the Government of a central establishment,
connected with the general body of bankers, and having branches of its own in different parts of the country.
These advantages are further developed by the monetary transactions that banks and corporations have with the Bank of England, and which facilitate the arrangements with respect to the dividends which the former are entitled to receive. They are paid by carrying the dividend warrants to their credit in their accounts with the bank.
The dividends paid each quarter amount to about £5,800,000. Of this sum about £3,800,000 is transferred to the accounts of different corporations and banks by a mere stroke of the pen, in a few hours, and all the labour which would attend the issue of notes for that large amount is saved.
5. The last Bank Act made it compulsory on the Bank of England to divide their establishment, exclusive of the Government department, into two wholly distinct departments, one to be called the Issue Department, and the other the Banking Department.
To effect this object, the bank found it necessary to transfer to the issuc department securities to the value of £14,000,000, of which a debt due by the Government, amounting to £11,000,000, formed a part. At the same time there was transferred to the issue department so much of the gold and silver then held by the bank as, together with the above £14,000,000, would equal the amount of notes then in circulation. No notes to be henceforth issued except in exchange for other notes, or on receipt of gold coin or bullion; but the £14,000,000 of notes are permitted to circulate without any other security than the Government stock held by the bank. The banking department is authorised to make payments in and issue such bank notes as may be received from the issue department.
All persons may demand of the issue department notes in exchange for gold bullion, at the rate of £3 17s. 9d. per ounce of standard gold; and the bank is compelled to purchase all gold at that price, regardless of the amount offered to them, in return for which they are to give bank notes. For this gold they receive from the Mint coins at the rate of £3 17s. 10 d. per ounce. The small difference, viz., 14d. per ounce, between the
Mint and the bank price of gold, constitutes a charge on the owner of bullion which is perhaps not more than that which he would incur in preparing for coinage, and in the loss of interest on his treasure while detained at the Mint. In this, as in other branches of industry, the advantage of the division of labour is apparent. The importer of gold dust takes it to the refiner, the refiner delivers it to the Bank of England, and the bank transfers it to the Mint for coinage when necessary. All three obtain their profit from the arrangement; the first two from the speedy payment in money; the bank from the profit on the coinage.
Should the notes issued by the bank, on securities, at any time and under any circumstances, exceed the limited amount of £14,000,000, the profit derived from such over-issue, after deducting the expenses incurred, consequent on such additional issue, are to be deducted from the amount payable to the bank for charges of management of the public debts. And in consideration of the exclusive privileges of banking which the Act confers on the corporation, and the exemption from stamp-duty on their notes, the bank are further to deduct from the said charges of management the annual sum of £180,000.
6. The Bank of England is also a bank of deposit, loan, and discount; but, unlike other joint-stock banks, it does not issue any circular notes, or grant letters of credit on foreign countries. It does not allow interest to its depositors, be the amount ever so large. Neither are the customers of the bank allowed, on any consideration, to overdraw their accounts. In discounting bills the tariff of rates differs according to the nature of the securities tendered, but the bank never charges less than the minimum rate publicly announced.
7. The Bank of Ireland and the Royal Bank of Scotland are the only country banks with which the Bank of England does business; all bills drawn by these two banks are drawn "without acceptance."
8. In addition to the issue of notes, as before referred to, the Bank of England issues bank post bills, at seven ays' sight; and for the convenience of remittance to India bank post bills, at sixty days' sight, are issued. They are accepted at the time they are drawn, and so
the sixty days begin to run from the date, and the bills are payable immediately on their return to London from India.
This advantage, and the unquestionable credit of the paper, often enables the holder in India to dispose of them at a good premium in the India market, in certain states of the exchanges, and thus they become as it were an article of commerce. The practice of issuing bank post bills does not extend to the branches of the bank.
9. It is a custom with the Bank of England, in reference to the bills they discount, that if the acceptors to any such bills become insolvent or bankrupt before the bills become due, to call upon the parties for whom they were discounted to withdraw them, without waiting till they are matured; and, however inconvenient this might be, the bills must be at once taken out of the hands of the bank, otherwise no further accommodation, in the shape of discounts, will be afforded to the party failing to do so.
10. The Bank of England were accustomed for many years to grant accommodation, in the way of discounts, to bill-brokers; now, however, they have declined doing business with them, the object being to keep the resources of the bank more under control. The immense drain upon the bank, which so frequently took place, proved the necessity for a change.
11. The bank are to furnish, for publication in the Gazette, a weekly statement of the amount of notes issued by the issue department, together with the amount of gold coin and bullion, as well as securities held against such notes; also a separate account from the banking department of the capital stock, and the deposits, and of the money and securities belonging to the bank.
12. There are numerous Acts of Parliament, more or less connected with the bank, relating to advances to Government, the purchase of Government securities, the public balances in the hands of the bank, restrictions on and resumption of cash payments, restraining the negotiation of promissory notes under a limited sum, the circulation of silver tokens, the protection of the property of the bank, the punishment of persons guilty of forging their notes, and counterfeiting tokens; and regulating modes of transacting business with the bank