Freedom of the Company
Progression through the Livery Companies remains much the same as it has been for centuries and the Worshipful Company of International Bankers is carrying on those traditions. The first step is to become a Freeman of the Company. All new members of the Company are expected to become Freemen in order to complete the joining process. To do this when an applicant is approved for membrship she/he must pay a Freedom Fine of £200 (reduced to £100 for younger members) in order to redeem (i.e. purchase) her/his Freedom and make a Declaration in front of the Master and Court.
The Declaration is read aloud from a printed sheet and covers such matters as promising to keep the laws and rules and helping and furthering the good government of the Company. Following the Declaration each Freeman is given a certificate as proof of admission. This certificate can then be used as proof of admission as a Freeman of the Company and can be taken to the Chamberlain's Court of the Corporation of London when an application is made for Freedom of the City which is the next step in progression through the Company. The Clerk advertises dates of Freedom Ceremonies which usually take place at Court meetings.
Freemen may advance to become Liverymen after obtaining the Freedom of the City of London with the Court of Assistants' approval provided they have been members of the WCIB for at least two years. Only Liverymen are eligible to apply for election to the WCIB Court, to chair WCIB standing committees and to attend our annual Liverymen's lunch. Liverymen vote in the annual election of the Lord Mayor of London, the Sheriffs and various other City civic offices, including the Ale Conners and Bridge Masters.
Freedom of the City of London
Freemen of the Company may apply for Freedom of the City of London as follows:
Telephone the Clerk of the Chamberlain's Office in Guildhall (0207 332 3055) or her Deputy/ Court Assistant (7332 1369/7332 1008) and advise them that you are a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers and wish to make an appointment to apply for the Freedom. The Chamberlain's Court is open Mon-Fri from 10.00 to 15.30.
Freedom of the City involves taking an Oath of Loyalty and the Roll is then signed, the right hand of friendship is extended and the certificate of freedom is received.
Click here for further information: Freedom of the City of London
A liveryman is a full member of the Company.
When a Freeman becomes a liveryman, the candidate is said to be 'enclothed': a livery gown is placed on them at the Court although normally only the Master, Wardens and the Clerk regularly wear their gowns at Company and City of London formal events, e.g. the two Common Halls and the United Guilds Service, and Lord Mayor's Show.
Liverymen no longer have any local authority franchise in the City, but retain the exclusive right of voting in the election of the Lord Mayor of the City of London (Michaelmas 'Common Hall' at the end of September) and for the Sheriffs (Mid-Summer 'Common Hall' at the end of June) held in Guildhall as a ceremonial occasion. The votes are made by 'acclamation' subject to a challenge/demand from the floor for a ballot which would be held a week later. Any two liverymen may nominate a candidate for the Freedom of the City.
Within the Company only Liverymen may serve as chairmen of the standing committees and only Liverymen may apply for election to Court and further advancement to be Wardens and Master.
The WCIB Court selects new liverymen on the recommendation of the Livery Admissions Committee which is chaired by the Junior Warden. New Liverymen make an Oath in front of the Master and Court and pay a Livery Fine of £550 which includes a liveryman's lapel badge to be worn at Company and Civic events