Banker, one who receives money to be drawn out again as the owner has occasion for it, the customer being lender, and the banker borrower, with the superadded obligation of honouring the customer's cheques up to the amount of the money received and still in the banker's hands.
A customer's money may become irrecoverable if six years have elapsed without payment by the banker of principal or interest after demand. The relation of banker and customer is merely that of debtor and creditor, with a superadded obligation on the banker to honour the customer's cheques, so that the Limitations Act, 1623, (21 Jac. 1, c. 16), runs against the customer. See UNCLAIMED PROPERTY.
A cheque is not an assignment to the payee of the customer's balance, so that if a customer having a balance of 99l. give a cheque for 100l., the banker is legally justified in dishonouring it by refusing payment altogether, Schroeder v. Central Bank of London, (1876) 34 LT 735. If a customer overdraws his account, this amounts to a request for a loan, Cuthbert v. Robarts &Co., 1909 (2) Ch 226.
A banker may not disclose to a third person, without the consent of the customer express or implied, either the state of the customer's account or any of his transactions with the bank, or any information relating to the customer acquired through the keeping of his account, unless the banker is compelled to do so by order of the court or in certain circumstances when the protection of the banker's own interests require it, Tournier v. National Provincial and Union Bank of England, 1924 (1) KB 461; but see next title.
As to frauds by bankers, see (English) Larceny Act, 1916, s. 20(1) iv. a banker is not a 'moneylender' within the meaning of the (English) Money-Lenders Act, 1900; and a money-lender may not be registered as a 'banker,' see (English) Money-Lenders Act, 1911, s. 2.
Includes a bank and any person acting as a banker. [Indian Stamp Act, 1899 (2 of 1899), s. 2 (1)]
Banker, shall extend and apply to all corporations, societies, partnerships and persons, and every individual person carrying on the business of banking, whether by issue of notes or otherwise, Halsbury's Laws of England, Vol. 3(1), 4th Edn., Para 147, p. 129.
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