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Under English common law, a banker is defined as a person who carries on the business of banking, which is specified as:
1. conducting current accounts for his customers
2. paying cheques drawn on him, and
3. collecting cheques for his customers.
In most English common law jurisdictions there is a Bills of Exchange Act that codifies the law in relation to negotiable instruments, including cheques, and this Act contains a statutory definition of the term banker: banker includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking' (Section 2, Interpretation). Although this definition seems circular, it is actually functional, because it ensures that the legal basis for bank transactions such as cheques do not depend on how the bank is organised or regulated.