1. A bench or seat; the bench or tribunal occupied by the judges; the seat of judgment; a court. The full bench, or full court; the assembly of all the judges of a court A "sitting in bank" is a meeting of all the judges of a court usually for the purpose of hearing arguments on demurrers, points reserved, motions for new trial, etc., as distingished from the sitting of a single judge at the assises or at nisi prius and from trials at bar. But, in this sense, banc is the more usual form of the word. 2. An institution, of great value in the commercial world, empowered to receive deposits of money, to make loans, aud to issue its promissory notes, (designed to circulate as money, and commonly called "bank-notes" or "bank-bills,") or to perform any one or more of these functions. The term "bank" is usually restricted in its application to an incorporated body ; while a private individual making it his business to conduct banking operations is denominated a "banker." Hobbs v. Bank, 101 Fed. 75, 41 C. C. A. 205; Kiggins v. Munday, 19 Wash. 233, 52 Pac. 85G; Rominger v. Keyes, 73 Ind. 377; Oulton v. Loan Soc., 17 Wall. 117, 21 L. Ed. 018; Hamilton Nat. Bank v. American L. & T. Co.. 00 Neb. 67, 92 N. W. 190; Wells, Fargo & Co. v. Northern Pac. R- Co. (C. C.) 23 Fed. 469. Also the house or place where such business is carried on. Banks in the commercial sense are of three kinds, to-wit: (1) Of deposit; (2) of discount ; (3) of circulation. Strictly speaking, the term "bank" implies a place for the de- (K)sit of money, as that is the most obvious purpose of such an institution. Originally the business of banking consisted only in receiving deposits, such as bullion, plate, and the like, for safe-keeping until the depositor should see fit to draw it out for use, but the business, in the progress of events, was extended, and bankers assumed to discount bills and notes, and to loan money upon mortgage, pawn, or other security, and, at a still later period, to issue notes of their own, Intended as a circulating currency and a medium of exchange, instead of gold and silver. Modern bankers frequently exercise any two or even all three of those functions, but it is still true that an institution prohibited from exercising any more than one of those functions is a bank, in the strictest commercial sense. Oulton v. German Sav. & L. Soc., 17 Wall. 118, 21 L. Ed. 618; Rev. St U. S.
Written and fact checked by The Law Dictionary