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it being provided, “ that, for the and prohibits the issue of any properiod of twenty one years from missory note of a sum less than the 17th July, 1695, it should not 205. be lawful for any other persons to
With respect to the issue of proset up a distinct company or bank missory notes in England, an act within the kingdom of Scotland, was passed in 1775, prohibiting besides those persons in whose fa- the issue of any such note under your this act is granted.” No re the sum of 20s.; and, in the year newal of the exclusive privilege 1777, restraints were imposed by took place after the expiration of law on the issue of notes between the twenty-one years.
the sum of 20s. and five pounds, The bank of Scotland first issued which were equivalent to the
pronotes of 20s. in the year 1704; hibition of such notes circulating but the amount of notes in circu as specie. lation previously to the Union was In the year 1797, when the revery limited.
striction as to payments in cash The bank of Scotland continued was imposed upon the Bank of the only bank from the date of its England, the provisions of the act establishment in 1695 to the year of 1777, with regard to the issue 1727. In that year a charter of of notes between 20s. and 5l.,
were incorporation was granted to cer- suspended. By an act passed in tain individuals named therein, for the third year of his present macarrying on the business of bank- jesty, the suspension was continued ing under the name of the royal until the 5th of January, 1833, bank; and subsequent charters but now stands limited by an act were granted to this establishment, of the present session to the 5th enlarging its capital which now April, 1829. amounts to one million and a half. The general result of the laws
An act, passed in the year 1765, regulating the paper currency in is the first and most important act the two countries respectively is of the legislature, which regulates this: the issue of promissory notes in That, in Scotland, the issue of Scotland.
promissory notes, payable to the It appears from its preamble, bearer on demand, for a sum of that a practice had prevailed in not less than 20s., has been at all Scotland of issuing notes which times permitted by law; nor has circulated as specie, and which any act been passed, limiting the were made payable to the bearer period for which such issue shall on demand, or payable at the op- continue legal in that country. In tion of the issuer at the end of six England, the issue of promissory months, with a sum equal to the notes for a less sum than 5l. was legal interest from the demand to prohibited by law, from the year that time.
1772 to the period of the Bank The act of 1765 prohibits the restriction in 1797. It has been issue of notes, in which such an permitted since 1797, and the peroption as that before mentioned mission will cease, as the law at is reserved to the issuer. It re- present stands, in April, 1829. quires that all notes of the nature Your committee will proceed to of a bank note, and circulating like give a general view, deduced from specie, should be paid on demand; the examination of witnesses, and Vol. LXVIII,
from the documents called for by purchase of an estate in that the committee of the laws which country is secure until the seisine regulate the business of banking (that is, the instrument certifying in Scotland, and of the mode in that actual delivery has been which it is at present conducted. given) is put on record, nor is any
The general provisions of the mortgage effectual until the deed law of Scotland bearing upon this is in like manner recorded. subject are calculated to promote In the case of conflicting pecuthe solidity of banking establish- niary claims upon real property, ments, by affording to the creditor the preference is not regulated by great facilities for ascertaining the the date of the transaction, but by pecuniary circumstances of indivi- the date of its record. These dual partners, and by making the records are accessible to all
persons, private fortunes of those partners and thus the public can, with ease, available for the discharge of the ascertain the effective obligations of the Bank with which which a banking company possesses they are connected.
of discharging its obligations; and There is no limitation upon the the partners in that company are number of partners of which a enabled to determine, with tolerabanking company in Scotland may ble accuracy, the degree of risk consist, and, excepting in the case and responsibility to which the of the Bank of Scotland and the private property of each is exposed. two chartered Banks, which have There are other provisions of very considerable capitals, the the law of Scotland which it is not partners of all Banking Companies necessary minutely to detail, the are bound jointly and severally, so general tendency of which is the that each partner is liable, to the same with those above mentioned. whole extent of his fortune, for There are at present thirty-two the whole debts of the company. banks in Scotland, three of which A creditor in Scotland is empow are incorporated by Act of Parliaered to attach the real and heri- ment, or by royal charter, viz. table, as well as the personal The Bank of Scotland, the estate, of his debtor, for payment Royal Bank of Scotland, and the of personal debts, among which bank called the British Linen may be classed debts due by bills Company. The National Bank of and promissory notes, and recourse Scotland has 1,238 partners. The may be had, for the procuring pay- Commercial Bank of Scotland has ment, to each description of pro- 521. The Aberdeen Town and perty at the same time.
County Bank has 446. Of the Execution is not confined to the remaining banks there are three in real property of a debtor merely which the number of partners exduring his life, but proceeds with ceeds 100; six in which the numequal effect upon that property ber is between 20 and 100; and after his decease.
seventeen in which the number The law relating to the esta« falls short of 20. blishment of records gives ready The greater part of the Scotch means of procuring information Banks have branches in connection with respect to the real and heri- with the principal establishment, table estate of which any person each branch managed by an agent in Scotland may be possessed. No acting under the immediate direc
tions of his employers, and giving Aberdeen, and Glasgow, stated, security to them for his conduct. that more than one-half of the
The Bank of Scotland had, at deposits in the banks with which the date of the last return received he had been connected, were in by your committee, sixteen branch sums from ten pounds to two hunes, established at various periods dred pounds. between the years 1774 and the Being asked what class of the present. The British Linen Com- community it is that makes the pany had twenty-seven branches. small deposits, he
gave the followThé Commercial Banking Com- ing answer, from which it appears pany in Edinburgh, thirty-one. that the mode of conducting this The total number of branches es branch of the banking business in tablished in various parts of Scot- Scotland has long given to that land, from the southern border to country many of the benefits deThurso, the most northerly point rivable from the establishment of at which a branch bank exists, is Saving Banks. one hundred and thirty-three.
“ What class of the comSpeaking generally, the business munity is it that makes the smallof a Scotch Bank consists chiefly est deposits?” in the receipt and charge of sums A.-" They are generally the deposited with the bank, on which labouring classes in towns like an interest is allowed, and in the Glasgow. In country places, like issue of promissory notes upon the Perth and Aberdeen, it is from discount of bills, and upon advan- servants and fishermen, and just ces of money made by the Bank that class of the community, who upon what is called a cash credit. save from their earnings, in mere
The interest allowed by a bank trifles, small sums, till they come. upon deposits varies from time to to be a bank deposit. There is time, aceording to the current rate now a facility for their placing of interest which money generally money in the provident Banks, bears. At present the interest al., which receive money till the delowed upon deposits is four per cent. posit amounts to ten pounds.
It has been calculated that the When it comes to ten pounds it is aggregate amount of the sums de- equal to the minimum of a bank posited with the Scotch banks deposit. The system of banking amounts to about twenty or twenty- in Scotland is just an extension of one millions. The precise accuracy the provident bank system. Halfof such an estimate cannot of yearly or yearly those depositors course be relied on. The witness come to the bank and add the by whom it was made, thought savings of their labour, with the that the amount of deposits could interest that has accrued upon the not be less than sixteen millions, deposits from the previous, half nor exceed twenty-five millions, year or year, to the principal ; and and took an intermediate sum as in this way it goes on without the probable amount.
being at all reduced, accumulating Another witness, who had been till the depositor is able either to connected for many years with buy or build a house, when it different banks in Scotland, and comes to be one, or two, or three has had experience of their con hundred pounds, or till he is able cerns at Stirling, Edinburgh, Perth, to commence business as a master
in the line in which he has hitherto The banks were informed that been a servant. A great part of this communication would be conthe depositors of the bank are of sidered by the chairman as one that description, and a great part entirely of a confidential nature ; of the most thriving of our farmers that he would make no disclosure and manufacturers have arisen from of the amount of the issues of any such beginnings."
single bank; but collect from the On sums 'advanced by the banks returns the general result, and preon the discount of bills of exchange, sent that result to the
e committee. and upon cash credits, an interest An answer has been received to of five per cent is at present this communication from all the charged.
banks in Scotland, with one excep"A cash credit is an undertaking tion. Some of the banks that have
part of the Bank to advance made returns have not been able to an individual such sums of to distinguish the notes under and. money as he may from time to above five pounds; where that distime require, not exceeding, in the tinction has not been made, the whole, a certain definite amount, proportions have been estimated by the individual to whom the credit à computation framed upon the is given entering into a bond with proportions that appear in the resecurities, generally two in num turns of those banks which were ber, for the repayment on demand enabled to distinguish their notes of the sums actually advanced, below five pounds from those with interest upon each issue from above that sum, and the result is the day on which it is made. stated in red ink.
Cash credits are rarely given Three of the banks from which for sums below one
hundred returns have been received haye i pounds; they generally range from omitted to state the amount of two to five hundred pounds, some their present circulation. That cir-, times reaching thousand culation has been taken, in the subpounds, and occasionally a larger joined general estimate, on an
average between the highest and The Bank allows the party have the lowest amount of the aggre-i ing the cash credit to liquidate any gate circulation of those banks portion of his debt to the Bank, at respectively during 1825. any time that may suit his 'conve Subject to the foregoing explanience, and reserves to itself the nation, the following is the general, power of cancelling, whenever it account deduced from the return, shall think fit, the credit granted. made by each bank, of the paper
With the view of ascertaining circulation of Scotland at the the total amount of the paper cur different periods referred to in that rency of Scotland at different account: periods, and of estimating the varia- An Account of the Amount of tions in its amount, a letter was Bankers' Notes circulating in addressed by the chairman of the Scotland, showing the Highest committee to each bank in Scot and Lowest Amount in the land, requesting information as to Years 1815, 1821, 1823, 1824, the amount of notes issued below and 1825; and also of the and above five pounds, and out Amount in Circulation at the standing at certain given periods. latest Period in 1826 to which
the Account can be made up: total, 280,0871. Probable amount distinguishing the amount of at present in circulation-5l. and Notes under 51. from those of upwards, 1,229,838l. ; under 5l. 51. and upwards.
2,079,2441. ; total, 3,309,0821. 1815. Highest amount--51. Two of the banking companies and upwards, 1,365,9981. ; under in Scotland have made no return 51. 2,185,4981. ; total, 3,551,4961. whatever. Lowest amount-51. and upwards, It will be seen from the above 908,3061.; under 5l. 1,868,324l. ; return, that the present amount of total, 2,776,6301.
the paper currency of Scotland, 1821. - Highest amount_51. being in fact (with the exception and upwards, 1,309,535l. ; under of silver) nearly the whole cur5l. 1,935,224l. ; total, 3,244,7591. rency of ihat country, is computed Lowest amount-51. and upwards, to be 3,309,0001., of which 963,143l.; under 51. 1,597,3021.; 2,079,0001. are in notes below total, 2,560,4451.
51. 1823. Highest amount-51. It has been calculated by Dr. and upwards, 1,396,3901. ; under Adam Smith, that the amount of 5l. 2,065,622l. ; total, 3,462,012. gold and silver coin current in Lowest amount-5l. and upwards, Scotland before the Union, and 1,006,6051.; under 5l. 1,706,6311.; then constituting nearly the whole total, 2,713,2361.
circulation of the country, was 1824. - Highest amount--51. about one million sterling. He and upwards, 1,701,1961. ; under observes that the amount of silver 51. 2,296,4921. ; total, 3,997,6881. coin brought into the Bank of Lowest amount--51. and upwards, Scotland for the purpose of being 1,095,1901.; under 5l. 1,764,825l.; recoined immediately after the total, 2,860,0151.
Union, was four hundred and 1825.- Highest amount_51. eleven thousand pounds sterling on and upwards, 1,946,721l. ; under and that it appears from the ancient 5l. 2,736,491l. ; total, 4,683,312. records of the Mint in Scotland Lowest amount-51. and upwards, that the value of the gold annually, : 1,323,451l.; under 5l. 2,110,648l.; coined somewhat exceeded the total, 3,434,0991.
annual coinage of the silver. Hei: Amount of notes at present in calculates, therefore, the total circulation. Amount of banks amount of gold and silver in cirwhich have made the return-51. culation about the year 1707, at ! and upwards, 1,125,743l. ; under
one million. 51. 1,903,2521.; total, 3,028,9951. The same authority, speaking of: Three of the banks who have made the year 1775, estimates the whole returns have omitted to state the circulation of Scotland at that time amount of their present circulation to be about two millions—"of The amount of their aggregate which,” he observes, “ that part circulation during 1825 was, at the which consists in gold and silver highest, 311,6461., at the lowest, most probably does not amount to 248,4411.; the average of these two half a million.” sums is therefore taken as the prob Your committee trust that they able amount of their present have not improperly outstepped the circulation 51. and upwards, limits of their duty, in submitting 104,095l. ; under 5l. 175,9921. ; to the House this brief review of