LICENCE. Except in the case of the Bank of England (see BANK OF ENGLAND), banks which are entitled to issue their own notes may issue them either on stamped or unstamped paper. If they are on un stamped paper, a licence must be obtained from the Commissioners of Inland Revenue authorising the issue of notes and bills of exchange on unstamped paper, and a bond must be given to secure the payment of a composition for the stamp duties payable on the notes and hills issued. The ditty on each licence is £30, and it must be taken out annually. A separate licence is required for every town or place where notes are issued (two or more offices in the same town being covered by one licence), with the exception that bankers, who, before May G. 1844, had taken out four licences, and which licences were in force on that date for the issue of notes at more than four places, are not required to obtain more than four licences for the issue of notes at the same places.
Where a branch having a licence to issue notes, opens a sub-office in another town or place, the banker's own notes cannot be issued at that sub-office under the licence held by the parent branch.
The following Sections of 9 Geo. IV, c. 23. relate to the powers given to bankers in England to issue, on licence, promissory notes and to draw hills not exceeding seven days after sight, or twenty-one days after date :— " 1. It shall be lawful for any person or persons carrying on the business of a banker or bankers in England (except within the city of London, or within three miles thereof), having first duly obtained a licence for that purpose, and given security by bond, in manner hereinafter mentioned, to issue, on unstamped paper, promissory notes for any sum of money amounting to /.:,5 or upwards, expressed to be payable to the bearer on demand, or to order, at any period not exceeding seven clays after sight ; and also to draw and issue, on unstamped paper, bills of exchange, expressed to be payable to order on demand, or at any period not exceeding seven days after sight, or twenty one clays alter the date thereof ; provided such bills of exchange be drawn upon a person or persons carrying on the business of a banker or bankers in London, West minster, or the borough of Southwark, or provided such bills of exchange be drawn by any banker or bankers, at a town or place where he or they shall be duly licensed to issue unstamped notes and bills tinder the authority of this Act, upon himself or themselves, or his or their copartner or copartners, payable at any other town or place where such banker or bankers shall also be duly licensed to issue such notes and bills as aforesaid.
" 2. It shall be lawful for any two or more of the Commissioners of Stamps to grant to all persons carrying on the business of bankers in England (except as aforesaid), who shall require the same, licences autho rising such persons to issue such promissory notes, and to draw and issue such bills of exchange as aforesaid, on unstamped paper ; which said licences shall be and are hereby respectively charged with a stamp duty of 00 for every such licence.
" 3. A separate licence shall be taken out in respect of every town or place where any such unstamped promissory notes or bills of exchange as aforesaid shall be issued or drawn : 1 rovided always, that no person or persons shall be obliged to take out more than four licences in all for any number of towns or places in England ; and in case any person or persons shall issue or draw such unstamped notes or bills as aforesaid, at more than four different towns or places, then, alter taking out three distinct licences for three of such towns or places. such person or persons shall be entitled to have all the rest of such towns or places included in a fourth licence." Section 22 of 7 & 8 Vict. c. 32 enacts : "Every banker who shall be liable by law to take out a licence from the Corn missioners of Stamps and Taxes to authorise the issuing of notes or bills shall take out a separate and distinct licence for every town or place at which he shall, by himself or his agent, issue any notes or bills requiring such licence to authorise the issuing thereof, any thing in any former Act contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding : Pro vided always, that no banker who on or before the 6th day of May, 1844, had taken out four such licences, which on the said last-mentioned day were respectively in force, for the issuing of any such notes or bills at more than four separate towns or places, shall at any time hereafter be required to take out or to have in force at one and the same time more than four such licences to authorise the issuing of such notes or bills at all or any of the same towns or places specified in such licences in force on the said 6th day of May, 1844, and at which towns or places respectively such bankers had on or before the said last mentioned day issued such notes or bills in pursuance of such licences or any of them respectively." Every licence which shall be granted ' between October 10 and November 11 in any year shall be dated on October 11, and every licence granted at any other time shall be dated on the day on which it is granted, and every such licence shall continue in force until October 10 next. (9 Geo. IV, c. 23, Section 4.) In the case of licences granted to joint stock banks, it is enacted by 24 & 25 Vict. c. 91, Section 35, that it shall be sufficient to specify in the licence or certificate the names and places of abode of any six or more persons who may be presented to the Commissioners and to grant the licence to them as and for the whole of the company or co-partnership, and to grant the licence to such company or co-partnership, in and by the said name or style, as the Commis sioners may think fit, and such licence is to be as good as if the names and places of abode of all the members of the company or co-partnership had been specified therein and the licence granted to them. (See BANK NOTES, BANK OF ISSUE, COMPOSITION, NOTE RETURN.)