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CONTACT: Edition No 21 (Summer 1960)
 
The 21st Edition of the Bank's staff magazine
included an Editorial celebrating that fact,
plus an article by a regular contributor (REVLAC),
and an 'Answer to Correspondents' section
 
 

Editorial.

 

We're twenty-one today, twenty-one today,

We've got the key to the door

Never been twenty-one before.

 

Pardon the festive spirit but this is an occasion. Whether you are approaching it or have passed it long since there's something special about a twenty-first birthday; it is a final irresponsible celebration before donning the mantle of responsibility. So let us stand for a moment in the present, with pride in past achievements and confidence in the future.

 

It is with much pleasure that I welcome back to these pages one who gave considerable support to Mr Harold Turner, our first Editor. Mr Turner overcame many difficulties during the infancy of this 'baby' and one of his most enthusiastic helpers was a humorist - Revlac. It is most fitting that he should be present at our twenty-first.

 

Complaints have been made in the past that questions asked in this journal have not been answered. Not wishing to entangle myself with financial queries, I have taken to heart the words of one of our highest-paid, present-day philosophers. "What do you want if you don't want money". After much research in various unspecified places, I have emerged with two pages of "Answers to Correspondents". It must be emphasised that these replies are not expressions of personal opinion nor have they any official backing, they are simply an attempt to state facts based "on the evidence" and I hope that they will provoke comment from you, the jury.

 

During the recent Local Government elections there were a larger number of shocks than usual; among the 'casualties'  we noticed a familiar name or two. Let us hope that the secret of 'red tape cutting' has been passed on to their successors.

 

The issue of smaller one pound notes has met with a mixed reception; it has, however, solved the 'problem of the safe' at some of our Branches - they had a 'can' that couldn't - it can now !!!

 

H W Powell

Yardley Branch

 

 

CHRISTOPHER CALLING (by REVLAC)

 

Christopher:

Daddy

Me:

Hello

C:

How much is a thousand pounds?

M:

A lot of money

C:

Do you have to be very clever to have 1,000?

M:

Not always

C:

'Cos it's got a picture here of a "Rock and Roll" singer who earns 1,000 a week: he's 19

M:

Indeed

C:

Do you earn 1,000 a week?

M:

No

C:

I suppose that's because you're old

M:

Thank-you

C:

Shall I earn that much when I'm 19?

M:

I doubt it

C:

I could practice singing

M:

You could

C:

And I wouldn't have to learn any words 'cos nobody's supposed to hear them

M:

Very true

C:

You could buy some clothes like this - Look

M:

I think not

C:

He doesn't look very happy. I wonder why?

M:

I wonder

C:

P'rhaps it's 'cos he wants a haircut

M:

Very probable

C:

I always feel unhappy when I want a haircut

M:

Interesting

C:

Yes. Or p'rhaps it's 'cos his trousers are hurting him

M:

Perhaps

C:

I don't think I will be a singer

M:

Suit yourself

C:

I think I'll be a policeman like Dixon

M:

Good for you

C:

Do policemen earn 1,000 a week?

M:

No

C:

Oh! Is it 'cos they can't sing?

M:

Quite possibly

C:

Mummy says I should be a jolly good detective

M:

Oh?

C:

I found the chocolates she bought for Linda and I

M:

Well done

C:

Only 'cos I saw where she hid them

M:

Oh

C:

Would you like one?

M:

No, thanks

C:

I'm glad 'cos there's only one ----

M:

It's the thought that counts

C:

---- and I'm eating that already

M:

I see

C:

Goodbye for now

M:

Goodbye

 

 

 

ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.

 

 

 

 

 

Q

Should we cut out payment of Corporation accounts on Saturday morning?

Should we reduce tasks for Corporation Departments?

A

To quote from "Britain's First Municipal Bank" by the late J P Hilton, CBE: "A Municipal Bank must be a Bank of service - service to its depositors and service to the citizens as a whole - it must make itself a convenience to the people. Its motto should be 'Service - First, Last and All The Time'. "

 

 

Q

Why should we take instructions from another Corporation Department as to the acceptance of Standing Instructions during two months of the year?

A

In 1921 a proposal was made by the Water Department, (who were fully capable of collecting their own accounts) that the Bank should be allowed to assist in the collection of these accounts, thus serving the two-fold purpose of releasing officers from the Water Department Staff to take over duties in the Bank, and of persuading the citizens to use the Bank in order that they may be tempted to become depositors. The Bank accepted this suggestion m most gratefully. Should we now object to the comparatively simple operation of holding Standing Orders for two months in the year?

 

 

Q

When are e going to refuse to do something?

A

When the citizens of Birmingham no longer require us to do it

 

 

Q

What have we to publicise?

A

The tremendous success of the Bank to the extent that the Staff are now overworked and business continues to increase. Publicity is given by every member of the Staff who deals with the public by the manner in which the service is performed. Compared to service given elsewhere WE can say "our customers never had it so good"

 

 

Q

Should officers with more than 20 years' service be exempted from signing the Attendance Sheet?

A

The signing of the Attendance Sheet serves the obvious purpose of recording the whereabouts of the Staff at any time; but it is also a useful record which can prove when you were NOT at a particular Branch at a particular time!

 

 

Q

This leaves the question of "moving into the field of Banking proper"

 

 

A

Are we to assume that our future lies in cheque-books, short and long term loans, discounts, overdrafts, stocks and shares, Bills of Exchange, issue of Travellers' Cheques, passports, foreign exchange, negotiations with the Inland Revenue Department, Banker's Orders. acting as Trustees, acting as Executors, and what about our personal loan scheme. If this is to be our "bread and butter" we shall soon be able to tell the difference because the Joint Stock banks will quickly cut off our supplies. We are not here to duplicate a service that already exists but to provide a Municipal service.

 

 

Q

The important question is:

WHAT SORT OF BANK DO YOU WANT TO BE?

A

If a Municipal Bank then we are committed to giving a service to our depositors AND TO THE CITIZENS OF BIRMINGHAM AS A WHOLE. This means the mixture as before under the present inadequate regulations and fighting to get the benefits that are officially conferred on every other Savings Bank.

The alternative must be a form of Trustee Savings Bank - guaranteed by the Corporation with a Committee of Management of elected representatives of the citizens to act as Trustees. We should then be committed to perform all our present duties (including the stamping of rates), but we should incorporate those extra duties that the Trustee Savings Banks perform their depositors ---- or shall we talk of sealing-wax and cabbages and kings???????????

Meanwhile let us not think of cutting down our tasks, of closing the door to business, let us rather open the front door to more business AND THE BACK DOOR TO MORE STAFF.

A final quotation from "Britain's First Municipal Bank" - the last words in the book - "The great thing to be determined is whether what is proposed will be for the good of the community or not; if it is then no opposition should be permitted to frustrate that benefit being conferred".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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