The hard work and overtime which the boom in the Birmingham Municipal Bank has brought to the staff are occasionally relieved by humourous passages. At the Duddeston Branch recently a woman appeared at the counter and said she wanted to open an account. How much would the bank take? she asked the clerk. The official repeated the stereotyped reply. “Anything from a penny upwards,” and enquired how much she wished to put in. The customer was not sure. She had it on the floor on her side of the counter, and would the cashier please count it. The cashier looked over the counter, and saw a pile of paint pots and domestic utensils, all of them containing large quantities of silver coins. The woman explained that her husband had died, and under the floor boards of the house they had found a variety of articles in which some hundreds of pounds had been stored, and she thought the bank a safer place than the house for it. The money was counted out, and the depositor found herself credited with over £300.
A case on somewhat similar lines came to light in Leicester a short time ago. A woman deposited all her savings, amounting to many pounds, in a tin in the dustbin, removing the tin every week before the scavengers emptied it. One week the men came a day early, and, after a long search at the destructor depot, the tin was recovered, and its contents placed into the safer custody of the Leicester Savings Bank.
Clerks in the Birmingham branches are almost every day “putting the baby” in the bank for numerous customers. A few days ago, however, a customer electrified a cashier by stating that he desired to put his mother-in-law in the bank. The usual formula unusually applied nonplussed the official for a moment, but, despite the tittering of the customers, he soon recovered himself, and made out the account.
One customer weekly draws notes from his stocking to pay into the bank. A lady has, against all the regulations but with impunity, trimmed her pass book to fit as a sock in her boot, and always keeps it there. A few days ago a depositor, a lady, gave notice to draw a hundred pounds odd, the whole of her deposit. She attended at the bank, signed the receipt, was given the money, and counted it carefully through. Then she pushed it back to the cashier, and told him to put it back again. “I only wanted to make sure you had it safe,” she said.
At interest time quite a number of people attend at the bank, draw the interest, and at once re-deposit it, explaining that they merely want to make sure they have been credited with it.
During the alterations at the head office a depositor entered behind the counter, walked along until she came opposite a knot of customers, and pushed her book across to one of the waiting depositors, asking him to bank her £5 in notes. Since then steps have been taken to ensure that the public find entrance to the public side of the counter only.
Humour at the Municipal Bank
The following article is reproduced from the Birmingham Weekly Post,
dated February 4th 1922; the author is unknown.