The bank messenger had a great deal of responsibility
The Bank of Montreal Rules and Regulations of 1817 stated that the messenger “shall be accountable for whatever may be entrusted to his charge and for all sums of money collected by him. He shall also be responsible to the bank or to the parties concerned, as the case may be, for all losses arising from his negligence, errors or omissions in performing the duties assigned to him.” In smaller branches, the duties of the messenger were taken on by the porter, who already had his own long list of responsibilities.
Over the years, the role of the messenger changed significantly. While they would sometimes be called on to deliver sensitive documents and securities that had to be dispatched quickly, they would more often be kept busy delivering mail within the branch, helping customers fill out paperwork or directing them to the right teller.