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of England and its branches. A banker can therefore insist upon cashing a cheque in silver, gold, and Bank of England notes, to the extent of 40s. in silver, £5 in gold, and the rest in Bank of England notes; and any other mode of payment is an act of accommodation by the banker. At the Bank of England and its branches their notes must be paid in gold, which comes to the same thing as if their cheques must be so paid; because, if their notes could be offered for cheques drawn on them, payment of the notes in gold could be at once required: 56 Geo. 3, c. 68, s. 11, and 3 & 4 Wm. 4, c. 98, s. 6.
16. Of collecting cheques.
Bankers will be liable for any loss which may result from their deviating from the usual practice in presenting and collecting, and where necessary, giving notice of the dishonour of cheques.
A London banker may be bound, as between himself and his customer, to present a cheque on another London banker on the same day that he receives it: Boddington v. Schlenckner (4 B. & A. 75), and Alexander v. Burchfield (3 Scott, 555). But, in general, he is entitled to the whole of the day after receiving it to present it.
A country banker, who receives a cheque upon a banker in another town, can either send it to that town for presentation, or send it to his London agent to pass through the clearing house, provided no delay is caused thereby: Prideaux v. Criddle (20 L. T. 695), where Lush, J., said: "If
the bank had sent the cheque to an agent at Falmouth, he would have been entitled to another day to present, therefore, sending it through the clearing house in London did not cause any delay. Again, it cannot be contended that the bank ought to have an agent in every town in the country. As to notice of dishonour, the plaintiff informed the defendant as soon as he knew of it."
A cheque upon a bank at Lewes was paid on a Friday morning into a bank at Worthing, and forwarded by the Worthing bank to London the same day, and was presented at the clearing house on Saturday and arrived at Lewes on Monday, when payment was refused; but if it had reached Lewes on Saturday it would have been paid. The Court said: "Although, in the present case, the cheque was on a country bank, and the defendants received it without advancing on it, and therefore held it for their customer, the plaintiff; still, we think these circumstances make no difference in respect of the time allowed for presentment. Lord Ellenborough says (Rickford v. Ridge), the rule which convenience requires must be adopted;' and he decided as above stated. That decision has been recognized and acted upon, and establishes the general rule in all cases as between the parties to a cheque; and we think the rule applies, not only as between the parties to a cheque, but as between banker and customer, unless circumstances exist from which a contract or duty on the part of the banker to present earlier, or to defer present
ment to a later period, can be inferred. If there had been no country clearing house, the defendants, according to this rule, receiving the cheque on Friday, would be bound to send it by Saturday's post to their agent at Lewes to present, and that agent would be bound to present it not later than Monday. On Monday the cheque was presented, and so the presentment was in time." Hare v. Henty (30 L. J. (C.P.) 302). See also Stokes v. Goodbody (L. T. (1870), 141.)
All the points of delay, presentment by post and notice of dishonour, were discussed in Bailey v. Bodenham (10 L. T., 422). There a cheque was drawn and paid away on Wednesday, the 6th of May. It was retained by the payee until Friday, the 8th, a delay sufficient to fix him with loss. It was paid into his bankers on the 8th, and sent by them to London by that day's post; but inasmuch as the London agents of the drawer's bankers had ceased to act as such agents, the London agents of the holder's bankers sent the cheque by post on the 11th, direct to the country bankers upon whom it was drawn, who kept it till the 15th, when they failed, and then returned it to London. The decision was that there had been laches on the part of the holder, either in presenting or giving notice of dishonour, and that the drawer was discharged. Apart from the loss of one day, the 7th of May, it seems difficult to discover negligence or deviation from established usage. It was necessary to present by post. It
was no fault of the holder that the London agents of the drawer's bankers had ceased to act for them, nor was it any fault of the holder or his bankers, or their agents, that the bankers upon whom the cheque was drawn kept it four days without returning it. The Court said-"There was evidence that it was a reasonable course for one country bank to send a cheque to the London agents of another country bank for payment. But did the London bank use due diligence ?" The Court thought that presentment by post was good, but if the amount were not remitted by return of post, that the cheque should be taken as dishonoured, and notice should be given forthwith.
Branch banks are, of course, held to be distinct establishments for the purposes of presentment, payment, and notice of dishonour: Clode v. Bailey (12 Mee. & W. 51), and Woodland v. Fear (26 L. J. (Q.B.) 202).
It is customary for bankers to give notice that they will not be responsible for any loss which may occur, either by delay or otherwise in the transmission of cheques; but this would not protect them from negligence, though it would render it necessary for a claimant against them to prove negligence. See Shand v. Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (3 Moore (N.S.) 272).
17. Of the banker's lien on cheques.
A banker has a lien on cheques coming into his
hands in behalf of a customer who is in his debt, and the banker may sue on the same in his own name, or his assignees may sue on them: (Scott v. Franklin (15 East, 428); Brandao v. Barnett (12 Cl. and F., 787); Jones v. Peppercorn (28 L. J. (Ch.) 158), unless received under some special instructions, or with notice of some trust.