Management
 
Excerpts from various Reports of the
Management Committee to the City Council
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 5th 1923 (re the year ended March 31st 1923)
 
Amount Standing to Credit of Depositors
 
The building up of such a large sum as £2,883,942 4s. 2d. in the short space of 3½ years is, in itself, a remarkable achievement, and it places the Bank amongst the six largest savings banks in the country, most of which have been established over a century. The growth of depositors' balances has been as follows:-
 
At March 31st, 1920 ……………. £ 746,984 0s. 11d.
At March 31st, 1921 ……………. £ 1,405,977 19s. 9d.
At March 31st, 1922 ……………. £ 1,869,595 15s. 6d.
At March 31st, 1923 ……………. £ 2,883,942 4s. 2d.
It will thus be seen that the amount per depositor in the Bank averages £28 15s. 4d.
Your Committee have on other occasions pointed out that the Bank was serving the purpose for which it was established, and that it was reaching the class of depositor for whom no adequate provision had previously been made. From an analysis of the balances due to depositors it is found that 99 per cent of the depositors have less than £300 standing to their credit.
 
Purchase of Motor Car

In view of the continued development in the Bank's activities, and the inevitable increase of the work of the numerous Branches which are distributed over various parts of the City, it has been necessary to consider the provision of more efficient travelling and transport facilities between the Head Office and the Branches.
Apart from the desirability of providing for a ready and constant supervision, a considerable amount of cash, etc., is collected from the Branches, and the practice of meeting this by hiring taxis has reached the stage of being expensive and lacking in despatch.
Your Committee, after carefully reviewing the matter, have come to the conclusion that the most effective and economic manner of dealing with this position is by the purchase of a motor car, and they have, therefore, been in communication with the Tramways Committee with this end in view.
Your Committee are advised that the type of car necessary to meet the requirements of the Department will cost £675, and they now recommend that they be authorised to make this purchase and defray the cost from the funds of the Bank.
 
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 12th 1928 (re the year ended March 31st 1928)
 
Your Committee are pleased to present their report on the operations of the Bank for the year ended 31st March, 1928. Subsequent paragraphs indicate the remarkable success which the Bank has achieved since its establishment, resulting in a depositorship at the end of the financial year of 254,433, and accumulated balances of £9,069,841 0s. 3d. These balances have grown at the rate of over one million pounds per year since the Bank was established, and the depositorship represents more than one in four of the entire population of the City. No other savings bank, catering for a single town, can claim such a record, despite the fact that most of the prominent savings banks in the northern towns have been in existence for a century. The success of the Bank is very gratifying and can be mainly attributed to its direct association with the municipal life of the City.
 
History of the Bank
 
During the year the history of this Bank has been written and published under the title of 'Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank'. The book contains a Foreword by the Minister of Health (The Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain, MP), and illustrations of Bank premises, etc.
 
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 4th 1929 (re the year ended March 31st 1929)
 
International Thrift Congress
 
The Quinquennial Congress in connection with the International Thrift Institute, of which the Bank is a contributory member, is being held in London from the 7th to 11th October, 1929, at the invitation of the Trustee Savings Banks Association and in conjunction with Government Departments interested. Your Committee have appointed the Chairman and General Manager as their representatives to attend the Congress.

Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 3rd 1930 (re the year ended March 31st 1930)
 
International Thrift Congress
 
In October last the second International Thrift Congress was held in London, being attended by the Chairman of the Bank Committee and the General Manager. These quinquennial conferences are attended by representatives of savings banks from practically every country in the world. During the five days' Congress 40 papers were submitted on various matters affecting savings bank law and procedure, and discussions followed thereon.
In connection with the Congress a very interesting exhibition of statistics, literature and propaganda material was arranged. The Bank participated in this exhibition by installing a stand, which excited considerable attention from the delegates.
An equally interesting exhibition of mechanical appliances and general office requisites was arranged in another building, and was open for inspection by the delegates during the period of the Congress.
 
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 9th 1931 (re the year ended March 31st 1931)
 
Alteration in Evening Openings
 
Your Committee have given serious consideration to requests of depositors for the Bank to be open on Friday evening instead of Saturday evening.
When the Bank was established in 1919 it was decided to open on Monday and Saturday evenings. At that time it was the practice of most employers to pay wages on Saturday, but the position has changed since 1919, with the result that the majority of employees receive their wages on Fridays.
Having in mind this fact, your Committee decided to ascertain the views of depositors. In the first place voting papers were issued in September last to all depositors in the Duddeston and King's Heath Branches; in November last a similar test was taken of depositors in the Ladywood and Acock's Green Branches; and in January of this year a further test was taken in respect of evening branches at Brookvale, Perry Common, Pype Hayes and Quinton. It was then decided to test Head Office and other branches by the issue of voting papers to every depositor who entered the premises on four Saturday evenings, viz, February 14th, 21st, 28th and March 7th. The voting showed an average of 45.62 per cent in favour of Friday evening openings as compared with 23.32 per cent in favour of Saturday evening, while 31.06 per cent of the voters stated it was immaterial which evening was selected.
Your Committee, therefore, feel justified in making the change, and propose to arrange for Friday evening openings instead of Saturday evenings, the alteration to take effect in the last week in July.
 
New Head Offices
 
Your Committee have invited Architects of British nationality and practicing in the British Isles, to submit designs in competition for a Central Municipal Bank and Head Offices to be erected on the site in Broad Street allocated to the Bank. Sir Reginald Blomfield, Litt D. RA, of New Court, Temple, London, EC, was appointed to advise on the conduct of the competition, and to act as Assessor in adjudicating on the designs submitted. Your Committee have offered a premium of £400 for the design placed first by the Assessor, £300 for the design placed second, and £150 for the design placed third. 129 Architects have paid the requisite deposit to enable them to compete. The Assessor is at present engaged in considering the designs, and your Committee hope to be in a position to submit the winning design to the Council at an early date.
 
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 5th 1934 (re the year ended March 31st 1934)
 
New Head Offices
 
The new building erected in Broad Street was formally opened by HRH The Prince George, KG, on the 27th November, 1933, in the presence of Members of the Council and many distinguished citizens and representatives from other towns. The building combines the latest features essential to the purpose for which it has been erected, and has been designed with due regard to the contemplated development of the area as a Civic Centre.
The work was carried through expeditiously, and with commendable co-operation between the Architect, the Clerk of Works, and the Contractors.
On the new building becoming available, the premises in Edmund Street and Easy Row which had served the purpose of Head Offices were given up.
The work of transferring the books, documents, etc, was carried out by the male staff of the Bank during the night of November 27th-28th in such a manner that there was no interference with the normal business of the Bank.
 
Safe Deposit
 
The new Head Offices include a safe deposit and provision for the safe custody of packages, unsurpassed in the country. The latest developments in safe deposit construction have been adopted, and safes can be rented at charges varying from 5s. to £1 per annum, according to size.
From the manner in which advantage has been taken of this facility your Committee feel that the safe deposit will prove a boon to those who do not possess satisfactory accommodation for keeping their deeds, documents and private papers in their own homes.
 
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 4th 1940 (re the year ended March 31st 1940)
 
General
 
As a result of the War and the difficulties of travelling during 'blackout' hours, your Committee considered it advisable to abandon evening hours of business during the Winter months, but in lieu thereof it was decided that all offices of the Bank should remain open until 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoons. This was continued until the change to Summer Time, when evening hours of business were resumed.
The War has produced several problems, and your Committee are pleased that the Bank has been able to assist in overcoming some of the difficulties. At the request of the City Treasurer, the Bank undertook the payment of weekly wages to Civil Defence personnel, involving 188,600 payments up to the end of March, 1940. Similarly, at the request of the Evacuation Officer, arrangements were made whereby evacuation fees could be paid at Bank counters, and in this connection 62,013 contributions were received up to the end of the year. On the inauguration of the War Savings Campaign the Bank at once made arrangements for the sale of National Savings Certificates and Defence Bonds. Such sales up to the end of March amounted to £308,361 in the case of Certificates and £57,950 in the case of Bonds. In connection with the new War Loan the Bank also dealt with 109 applications.
With the further object of rendering as much financial assistance as possible to the Government in the prosecution of the War your Committee conferred with HM Treasury, and as a result it was decided that until December, 1940, the net excess of deposits over withdrawals should be placed on deposit with the National Debt Commissioners to be transferred on demand into new War Loan whenever the latter are issued. £500,000 has been so deposited, part of which has been invested in the 1955-59 War Loan. It will be appreciated that this sum, added to the amount referred to above in connection with the sale of Certificates and Bonds, represent a substantial contribution towards the financial situation. Before the end of 1940 further consultations will take place between HM Treasury and the Bank as to the future policy.
With the intention of increasing the total amount of savings available for the War, a coupon deposit scheme has been introduced, similar to the one adopted by the Bank during the Great War. The coupons are in four denominations, viz: 6d., 1s., 2s. 6d., and 5s. This method will, no doubt, appeal to many workers who find it impossible to make personal calls at the Bank during the hours of business, owing to lengthened working hours. The coupon deposit scheme can also be used for the purchase of Savings Certificates.
 
Interim Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, March 12th 1946
 
Appointment of General Manager
 
Your Committee report that Mr J P Hilton, CBE, the General Manager of the Birmingham Municipal Bank, will reach the retiring age on the 24th March, 1946, and that they have unanimously decided to appoint Mr Harold Carver to succeed him. Mr Carver is 55 years of age, and has been in the service of the Corporation for 39 years: 26½ years with the Bank and 12½ years with the Gas Department. He has filled progressive positions in the Bank with distinction, and has an extensive knowledge of the administration.
Mr Hilton was the Manager of the original Corporation Savings Bank from its inception in 1916 until it was replaced in 1919 by the Birmingham Municipal Bank, upon the establishment of which Mr Hilton was appointed its first General Manager, a position that he has held with distinction ever since. Your Committee have placed on record their high appreciation of his services to the City and the Bank.
 
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, June 12th 1956 (re the year ended March 31st 1956)
 
General
 
In support of the National Campaign for restraint in spending, a Rally was held in the Central Hall, Birmingham, on the 18th January last, when more than 2,000 National Savings Workers in the West Midlands Region attended.
The Lord Mayor (Alderman A Lummis Gibson, JP) occupied the Chair, and the principal speakers were: Dr The Right Hon Charles Hill, MP (Postmaster General), and the Rt Hon Lord Mackintosh of Halifax, DL, LL.D, (Chairman of the National Savings Committee).
Dr Hill said that the Savings Movement needed a new drive and upsurge of effort to restore the position of a heartening surplus of savings over withdrawals.
On the 15th May last, to mark the Fortieth Anniversary of the National Savings Movement, a ceremony was held at Guildhall, London, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, GBE. The Birmingham Municipal Bank was represented at the ceremony. Like the National Savings Committee it celebrates its fortieth year in 1956; the original Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank having been opened on 29th September 1916 by Mr Neville Chamberlain, then Lord Mayor of the City.
 
Report to the Meeting of the Council on Tuesday, January 11th 1972 (re the year ended March 31st 1972)
 
General
 
Following the approval of the City Council in July 1970, your Committee report that an agreement was signed and sealed on 23rd August, 1971, whereby the Bank is now a member of the West Midlands and South Wales Computer Consortium. It is planned that an On-Line-Real-Time system will be in operation at the Bank's branches in 1973.
 
The Committee to Review National Savings, under the Chairmanship of Sir Harry Page, was appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in June 1971. Your Committee received an invitation to submit evidence and accordingly a report was prepared in consultation with the Town Clerk and the City Treasurer.
 
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