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Leemans Act 30 Vict

stock, shares, bank, contract and person

LEEMAN'S ACT. (30 VICT. c. 29.1 The name of an Act of Parliament (passed with the intention of preventing speculation in bank shares) by which it is provided that all contracts for sale or purchase of bank shares or stock (except shares or stock of the Bank of England or Bank of Ireland) must set forth the numbers of the shares or stock, or, if there are no distinguishing numbers, the name of the registered proprietor. Section 1 is as follows : " All contracts, agreements, and tokens of sale and purchase which shall be made or entered into for the sale or transfer, or purporting to be for the sale or transfer, of any share or shares, or of any stock or other interest, in any joint stock banking company in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland constituted under or regulated by the provisions of any Act of Parliament, Royal Charter, or letters patent, issuing shares or stock transferable by any deed or written instrument, shall be null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever, unless such contract, agreement, or other token shall set forth and designate in writing such shares, stock, or interest by the respective numbers by which the same are distinguished at the making of such contract, agreement, or token on the register or books of such banking company as aforesaid, or where there is no such register of shares or stock by distinguishing numbers, then unless such contract, agreement, or other token shall set forth the person or persons in whose name or names such shares, stock, or interest shall at the time of making such contract stand as the registered proprietor thereof in the books of such banking company ; and every person, whether principal, broker, or agent, who shall wilfully insert in any such con tract, agreement, or other token any false entry of such numbers, or any name or names other than that of the person or persons in whose name such shares, stock, or interest shall stand as aforesaid, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and be punished accordingly, and, if in Scotland, shall be guilty of an offence punishable by fine or imprisonment."

This Act is still in force, but its provisions are disregarded on the London Stock Exchange, as it is not the practice to specify the numbers of bank shares on the contract note. Where a person, in ignorance of that practice, instructed his brokers to purchase for him certain shares in a joint stock bank, and, before the settling day, repudiated the contract, it was held (Perry v. Barnett, 1885, 15 Q.B.D. 388) that the contract, which was made contrary to this Act, was not binding upon him. But where a person purchases bank shares and is aware of the practice of the Stock Exchange he cannot repudiate the contract.

Sections 2 and 3 of the Act are as follow :— Joint stock banking companies shall be bound to show their list of shareholders to any registered shareholder during business hours, from ten of the clock to four of the clock.

" 3. This Act shall not extend to shares or stock in the Bank of England or the Bank of Ireland."