Chapter VIII - As To Banks

  • 1. National banks.
  • 2. Banks as lenders.
  • 3. Interest on deposits.
  • 4. Check and deposit banks.
  • 5. How to draw a check.
  • 6. Certificates of deposit.
  • 7. Use of checks.

No instrument of trade has done so much or is more essential to the safe and progressive business of the world today than the bank.

Every department of business, in our modern civilization, must keep in touch with the bank.

Money is the blood of trade and the banking system is its heart.

The bank is as necessary to the thrifty farmer as it is to the greatest railroad or the most wide-spread trust.

Banks are depositories for money not in circulation.

Banks have facilities for the safe-guarding of money which the ordinary business man could not provide for himself.

Instead of running the risk of paying bills with money carried about on his person, the business man, and every man with ready money should follow his example, deposits his money in a convenient bank, for which he receives a proper voucher in the shape of a credit in a deposit book.

When he pays a bill, he draws a check for the amount, payable to the order of his creditor. This check, when endorsed by the receiver and paid by the bank, is in itself a receipt for the money.


As I propose to say something about savings banks in another chapter, the present will be devoted to what are known as "banks of deposit."

Banks of deposit are either National, State, or private.

A National bank is, as the name implies, chartered and incorporated by the Government, with special privileges and restrictions.

The Government in the organizing of National banks had in mind the protection of the public without unduly limiting the profit of the stockholders.

The sum the stockholders must contribute to the establishment of a National bank varies according to the population and the business importance of the place in which the bank is to be located.

The capital must exist in a prescribed form.

Certain forms of investment are prohibited, as for instance the ownership of real estate, except under certain restrictions.

This is done that the National bank may be able to convert its securities into cash in the shortest order.

In consideration of a prescribed amount of United States bonds, deposited with the Treasury in Washington, the Government issues to the National bank a prescribed sum in printed bank notes of varying denominations.

If the bank should close for any reason, the bank notes or their equivalent must be returned, when the bonds deposited as security are released.

Every bank must have a board of directors, a president and a cashier. Receiving and paying tellers, with bookkeepers, and many clerks are necessary to carry on the business of a large bank.

In addition, the National banks are under the supervision of regularly appointed Government inspectors.

A National bank may fail, but its notes are still "as good as gold."

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