by Norman Worwood
I always used to say that if you did not like people, then you were in the wrong job, and there was enormous satisfaction to be obtained from being of service. One of the Bank's widespread functions was to open individual accounts to receive savings in bulk from large companies, such monies being deducted from their thousands of employees' weekly wages and sent usually monthly to their accounts. Bank staff were divided over the wisdom of offering this service, because it was often the case that the 'saver' was not a real saver at all. Within hours of the Bank's receipt of the funds, queues would build up, invariably at lunch time, in order to withdraw what the Bank had held for a matter of hours, but which the depositor had sacrificed over a period of a month. Managers such as Jock Hastie were adamantly opposed to the schemes. I was in support, on the grounds that it brought the depositors into the branch, where they could be offered other benefits.
When a manager myself, I endeavoured to put this view into practice and I learned from one customer that his constant difficulty in paying his domestic accounts, for which purpose he had money deducted from his wages, was due to his propensity for withdrawing it from his account and going immediately to the nearby bookmaker, where he just as speedily lost it. I persuaded him to let me prevent him from having his cash until he first produced, for instance, a gas 'bill' and settled it at the branch, whereafter he could withdraw whatever remained. Gratifyingly, he soon learned that this primitive form of budgeting actually worked.