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CORPORATE EXISTENCE, POWERs, &c.
SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That every association formed pursuant to the provisions of this act shall, from the date of the execution of its organization certificate, be a body corporate, but shall transact no business except such as may be incidental to its organization and necessarily preliminary, until authorized by the Comptroller of the Currency to commence the business of banking. Such association shall have power to adopt a corporate seal, and shall have succession by the name designated in its organization certificate, for the period of twenty years from its organization, unless sooner dissolved according to the provisions of its articles of association, or by the act of its shareholders owning two-thirds of its stock, or unless the franchise shall be forfeited by a violation of this act; by such name it may make contracts, sue and be sued, ° complain and defend, in any court of law and equity, as fully as natural persons; It may elect or appoint directors, and by its board of directors appoint a president, vice president, cashier, 4 and other officers, define their duties, require bonds of them and fix the penalty thereof, dismiss said officers, or any of them, at pleasure,” and appoint others to fill their places; And exercise under this act all such incidental powers as shall be necessary to carry on the business of banking by discounting and negotiating promissory notes, drafts, bills of exchange, and other evidences of debt; by receiving deposits; by buying and selling exchange, coin, and bullion; by loaning money on personal security; by obtaining, issu
3. See section 50, and notes thereon.
4. The cashier is the financial officer, or the executive officer, through whom the whole financial operations of the bank are conducted. The directors may limit his authority as they deem proper, but this would not affect those to whom the limitations were unknown. His authority to do particular acts Inay be inferred from evidence as to the powers exercised by him, with the knowledge and acquiescence of the directors and the usage of other banks in the same city. (Merchants' Bank v. State National Bank, 10 Wallace, 604; The Wakefield Bank v. Truesdall, 55 Barbour, 602)
5. The directors may remove the president even before any by-laws are adopted. (Taylor v. Hutton, 43 Barbour, 195.)
When a corpora. tion.
May adopt a seal and continue a corporation for twenty years.
May sue and he sued.
What business may be transaeted.
Transfer of stock.
Where to transact business.
Directors and president:
—-must each own ten shares and take official oath.
ing, and circulating notes according to the provisions of this act;
And its board of directors shall also have power to define and regulate by by-laws, not inconsistent with the provisions of this act, the manner in which its stock shall be transferred," its directors elected or appointed, its officers appointed, its property transferred, its general business conducted, and all the privileges granted by this act to associations organized under it shall be exercised and enjoyed ;
And its usual business shall be transacted at an office or banking-house located in the place specified in its organization certificate.
DIRECTORS AND PRESIDENT.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That the affairs of every association shall be managed by not less than five directors, one of whom shall be the president. Every director shall, during his whole term of service, be a citizen of the United States; and at least three-fourths of the directors shall have resided in the State, Territory, or district in which such association is located one year next preceding their election as directors, and be residents of the same during their continuance in office.
Each director shall own, in his own right, at least ten shares of the capital stock of the association of which he is a director. Each director, when appointed or elected, shall take an oath that he will, so far as the duty devolves on him, diligently and honestly administer the affairs of such association, and will not knowingly violate, or willingly permit
6. A bank whose certificates of stock declare the stockholders entitled to a certain number of shares, transferable in person or by attorney on the books of the bank, and upon a surrender of the certificates, but not otherwise, and which permits a stockholder to transfer his shares without a surrender of his certificates, is liable for value of the same stock to a bona fide transferee, who produces the certificates with a properly executed power of attor. ney to transfer. (Bank v. Lanier, 11 Wallace, 369.)
Banks have no valid liens on the shares of stockholders for debts due from them to the bank, even although the by-laws and the certificates of stock set forth such lien, unless the bank is authorized to make such a provision by the articles of association. (Rosenback v. Salt Springs National Bank, 35 Barbour, 495; Bank v. Lanier, 11 Wallace, 369.)
to be violated, any of the provisions of this act, and that he
Term of Office-elections.
Election. Wher, onnitte, at the aj. pointed time.
Stockholders’ votes: proxies.
No officer, &c., to act as proxy.
Shares personal property; transferable.
Rights and liabilities of shareholders.
holders, each shareholder shall be entitled to one vote on each share of stock held by him. Shareholders may vote by proxies duly authorized in writing; but no officer, clerk, teller, or bookkeeper of such association shall act as proxy; and no shareholder whose liability is past due and unpaid shall be allowed to vote.
CAPITAL STOCK AND STOCKHOLDERS.
SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That the capital stock of any association formed under this act shall be divided into shares of one hundred dollars each, and be deemed personal property and transferable on the books of the association in such manner as may be prescribed in the by-laws or articles of association; and every person becoming a shareholder by such transfer shall, in proportion to his shares, succeed to all the rights and liabilities of the prior holder of such shares, and no change shall be made in the articles of association by which the rights, remedies, or security of the existing creditors of the association shall be impaired.
The shareholders of each association formed under the provisions of this act, and of each existing bank or banking association that may accept the provisions of this act, shall be held individually responsible, equally and ratably, and not one for another, for all contracts, debts, and engagements of such association to the extent of the amount of their stock therein at the par value thereof, in addition to that amount invested in such shares; 7 except the shareholders of any banking association now existing under State laws, having not less than five millions of dollars of capital actually paid in, and a surplus of twenty per centum on hand, both to be determined by the Comptroller of the Currency, shall be liable only to the amount invested in their shares;
7. The liability of stockholders is several, not joint. The limit of their liability is the par of the stock held by each one. Where the whole amount is sought to be recovered the proceeding must be at law. Where less is required the proceeding may be in equity for contribution, and all stockholders who can be reached by the process of the court may be joined in the suit; but it is no objection that there are others beyond the jurisdiction of the court, who cannot for that reason be made co-defendants. (Kennedy v. Gibson et al., 8 Wallace, 498.)
and such surplus of twenty per centum shall be kept undiminished, and be in addition to the surplus provided for in this act; and if at any time there shall be a deficiency in said surplus of twenty per centum, the said banking association shall not pay any dividends to its shareholders until such deficiency shall be made good; and in case of such deficiency, the Comptroller of the Currency may compel said banking association to close its business and wind up its affairs under the provisions of this act. And the Comptroller shall have authority to withhold from an association his certificate authorizing the commencement of business, whenever he shall have reason to suppose that the shareholders thereof have formed the same for any other than the legitimate objects contemplated by this act. SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any association formed under this act, by its articles of association, to provide for an increase of its capital from time to time as may be deemed expedient, subject to the limitations of this act: Provided, That the maximum of such increase in the articles of association shall be determined by the Comptroller of the Currency; and no increase of capital shall be valid until the whole amount of such increase shall be paid in, and notice thereof shall have been transmitted to the Comptroller of the Currency, and his certificate obtained specifying the amount of such increase of capital stock, with his approval thereof, and that it has been duly paid in as part of the capital of such association. And every association shall have power, by the vote of shareholders owning two-thirds of its capital stock, to reduce the capital of such association to any sum not below the amount required by this act, in the formation of associations: Provided, That by no such reduction shall its capital be brought below the amount required by this act for its outstanding circulation, nor shall any such reduction be made until the amount of the proposed reduction has been reported to the Comptroller of the Currency and his approval thereof obtained. SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That at least fifty per centum of the capital stock of every association shall be paid
Comptroller may withhold certifiCate in certain CaSCS.
Increase of capital.
Reduction of capital.
Fifty per cent. of
capital to be paid in—