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Annual Reports - 1924 (cont.)
 
 
(3) General Manager's Report made to the General Purposes Sub-Committee on January 12th 1925
 

During the twelve months ended 31st December 1924 the Bank has again made surprising progress. This is particularly emphasized by the increased transactions, which indicate the use to which the Bank is being put.

The year has been a heavy one from an administrative point of view. The increase in depositors, transactions, house purchases, and money handled is indicated on the sheet attached to this Report, and does not require any amplification.

The Home Safes continue to be popular, and some difficulty has been experienced during the year to meet the demands. The last order was placed with Messrs Taylor, Law & Company at a favourable price. It is gratifying that for a second time a local firm has been found able and willing to undertake this special type of work.

In the House Purchase Department the expansion of business is due in no small measure to the policy of the Council in selling houses erected by them. The year marks a change in the practice of making repayments. Previously all monthly repayments were dealt with at Head Office only, but a system has been devised whereby depositors can make repayments at any daily branch. The introduction of this system has to some extent equalised the work as between cashiers at Head Office and those at Branches, but the setting-up of the necessary advice system has resulted in more clerical work in the House Purchase Department itself.

The collection of Water Accounts has been continued throughout the year on the same satisfactory lines as in previous years, but one cannot say that of the collection of Rates. The system in force for the latter is too cumbersome, and it is not satisfactory either to depositors, the public or the Staff. It is to be regretted that no opportunity presented itself during the year whereby an amendment of the law could be obtained, the more so as the Ministry of Health have indicated their agreement to a system being tried similar to that for the collection of Water Accounts. The Overseers have not yet made any contribution to the Bank in respect of services rendered or stationery supplied.

The question of collecting Electric Supply Accounts has been under discussion, and arrangements are about to be made whereby a scheme similar to that for collecting Water Accounts will be set up.

A little improvement has taken place in regard to School Savings Banks. We are now receiving a greater proportion of transfers before the children leave school.

A new daily branch was opened in Hockley; the former evening branch at Harborne gave place to a daily branch; the first newly-built branch was opened at Handsworth, followed shortly afterwards by a similar new building at Ladywood. Evening branches have been opened at Longbridge and Witton; whilst the New Year marks the opening of branches at Kings Norton and Rubery.

Structural alterations to premises are proceeding at Saltley, Aston, Hockley, Small Heath, Hay Mills, and Acock's Green. Plans have been approved and contracts let for new buildings at Erdington and Spring Hill, and a plan has been approved for the building of a new Bank at Northfield.

NEW REGULATIONS.

The new Regulations of the Bank have been practically agreed with H.M. Treasury, and will be put into force as soon as the official approval has been given thereto.

STAFF CHANGES.

During the year the following changes have been made:-

Resignations, etc. -

            H H Crump (dismissed)

           W J Underhill (going to Ceylon)

            Miss E J M Butler (entering a Religious Institution)

            Miss E Hadley (illness at home)

           Miss D E Pullen (on approaching marriage)

 

Appointments -

            R H Tafft        (General Clerk)

           F D Barker                 "

           E Williams                 "

           A H Read                   "

           A Oldham      (Junior Clerk)

            H G Corles               "

            N L Newcombe         "

           C Selwyn                   "

           W A Camwell            "

           P J Condon               "

           H E M Forman          "

           F R Owen                  "

           L A Instone                "

           F W Hearne              "

           G W Thomas             "

           H J Langley               "

           A M Powell    (Female Clerk)

            D G Parkes               "

            P I M Hilton              "

            G R Nock                  "

            E M Snell                  "

            D M Carver               "

            E E Brown                "

            D M Wilson              "

 

The Staff now comprises -

            Males            42

            Females         30

           Juniors           24

           Total               96

 

HEALTH OF STAFF

 

           There is no improvement in the health of Mr Hawkins, and no likelihood of his returning to duty.

           Miss Blackwell, who had a serious illness to which reference was made last year, returned to duty on May 1st, and appears to have regained her health.

            Mr T J Ladbrooke has had a rather serious illness, commencing with influenza and afterwards developing rheumatic fever. He is not yet able to leave his house.

           Apart from these cases, periodical illnesses have not been very great, the total days' service lost during the year amounting to 112.

 

           HOLIDAY ARRANGEMENTS

            These were arranged on the same lines as in previous years, and occupied a period extending from May to November. This spreads the period too long, and it is hoped that during the coming year it will be possible to compress the holidays into a shorter period.

 

           JUNIOR CLERKS' EDUCATIONAL SCHEME

            The classes selected for attendance by Junior Clerks were well attended, and the results on the whole satisfactory. The examinations last year were a little stiffer than in previous years, and the percentage of marks gained was not quite so high.

 

           TRAINING OF BRANCH MANAGERS

            The whole of the Branch Managers have now taken a three months' course at Head Office. Each Manager was taken in turn and reported upon to the Committee from time to time. The only failure to complete the course was Mr Crump, who had just commenced his course at the time he disappeared. There is no doubt much has been accomplished by having the Branch Managers in, but a period of three months hardly meets the situation, and it may be advisable for certain officers to renew the course when an opportunity can be found for them to do so.

           

            INSTITUTE OF BANKERS

           The year has been a "red letter" one in connection with classes under the auspices of this Institute. Several of the Staff took a course of study during last winter, and Mr Whitehouse gained the Memorandum of the Institute as having completed his examinations under Part I of the syllabus, being the first of our Officers to do so. This winter practically the whole Staff are taking classes so that they may qualify in subsequent years. The Institute have introduced a regulation which fixes a Matriculation standard for future entrants after May next, but those who have passed in one of the obligatory subjects of Part I will be exempt from such standard. The Committee will realise that the Bank Staff are at a disadvantage compared with the staffs of Joint Stock Banks, inasmuch as they are required to be on duty two evenings in the week, and have consequently not the same opportunity for study as clerks in Joint Stock Banks.

           

           DISCHARGE OF DUTIES

            Regret is to be expressed at the case of forgeries at Rotton Park Branch, and the defalcations at Duddeston Branch.

           On one or two occasions it has been necessary for the Chairman and the General Manager to take up points with individual officers who have displayed a little laxity in discharging their duties; but on the whole there has not been much to complain of.

           

            SALARIES

           In reviewing the Salary List for the year it will not be necessary for the Committee to consider several officers who, under the terms of their agreements, become entitled automatically to increases.

           In the case of Mr Taylor, promoted to Grade A, and Messrs Bennett and Cheatle, promoted to Grade B, it was decided to adjust their salaries at the annual revision. It is now recommended that Mr Taylor should reach his minimum basic salary of 450 by the 1st April 1926, and that Messrs Bennett and Cheatle should advance by gradual stages so that they reach their minimum basic rate of 400 by the 1st April 1929.

            Messrs Smith, Wynn, Neighbour, Jackson and Hodgkins become entitled, under their original agreements, to a basic salary of 272 per annum on the 1st April next. It is recommended that the broken figure of 272 should give place to 275 per annum in each case.

           Messrs Guest and Fitzpatrick reach their minimum basic salary of 192 per annum on the 1st April next. Having regard to the fact that these officers are acting as Clerks-in-Charge of Branches, it is recommended that the rate of 192 be altered to 200 per annum, which is the minimum basic salary for a Branch Manager.

            Messrs Whitehouse and Baker, under existing agreements, reach basic salaries of 152 and 170 respectively on the 1st April next; but as both these officers have recently been placed in charge of Branches, it is recommended that the rate be altered in each case to 175 as from the 1st April 1925, and 200 as from the 1st April 1926.

            In the case of Messrs Barker and Williams who, during the year, have been paid inclusive salaries of 180 and 156 respectively, it is now proposed to place them on the scale for General Clerks with a commencing basic salary of 145 and 100 respectively.

           In the case of Mr Read, transferred from the Salvage Department, it is proposed to place him on the scale for General Clerks at a commencing basic salary of 145.

           

           The following promotions are recommended:-

                                                           From               To

                                                           Grade         Grade

            G A Harling                         E                    D

            Miss Manning                      B                     A

           Miss Crawford                     C                     B

           Miss Brown                          C                     B

           Miss Gregory                        C                     B

           Miss Turner                          D                     C

           Miss Lewis                           D                     C

 

           Cases for merit increase will be dealt with by the General Manager verbally at the meeting.

 

           SALARY OF ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER

On the 29th January 1923 the Committee decided to increase the basic salary of the Assistant General Manager from 400 to 700 by three annual increments of 100. The Salaries, Wages and Labour Committee, however, did not approve of this arrangement, but agreed to an immediate advance being made of 150 and stated they would be prepared to consider the granting of a further advance in two years' time if the Bank Committee so recommended. The Committee decided to accept the decision of the Salaries, Wages and Labour Committee, and to reconsider the position in two years' time. That time has now arrived.

Mr Ellison is at present receiving a basic salary of 550 per annum, which carries with it a bonus of 176. 12. 2d. per annum, making a total salary of 726. 12. 2d.

 

GRADING SCHEME

It will be necessary to obtain the approval of the Salaries, Wages and Labour Committee to an increase in the establishment numbers as follows:-

            Males -          Grade A                     From 2 to 3

                                       "      B                     From 2 to 3

                                       "      F, G & H

                                                 combined    From 36 to 48

            Females -         "       C & D

                                                  combined   From 12 to 15

 

            It is also desirable to designate Grade D "Clerks-in-Charge or Relief Officers," instead of "Relief Branch Managers" as at present.

 

           EXCESS AND SHORT CASH

            During the year January 1st to December 31st 1924 the short cash has amounted to 13. 18. 11d, and the excess cash to 26. 4. 8d, particulars of which are summarised on sheet attached. It is recommended that a cheque be drawn on the General Account for the amount of short cash, viz 13. 18. 11d to reimburse the "Under & Over" Account.

 
 Excess Cash
Amount ( - s - d)
 Number of
Occasions
Short Cash
Amount ( - s - d) 
 Number of
Occasions
 Head Office 
 8 - 0 - 9
 23
 3 - 7 - 8
 19
 Acocks Green
 11 - 0
2
 4 - 5 - 0
 5
 Aston
 4 - 0
 3
 6
 1
 Aston Cross
 1 - 13 - 0
 6
   
 Balsall Heath
 1 - 0 - 3
 2
 6 - 6
 5
 Bearwood
 1 - 1 - 0
 1
   
 Duddeston
 1 - 6
 2
 1 - 11 - 1
 4
 Erdington
 1
 1
 1 - 10 - 0
 2
 Handsworth
 9
 1
   
 Hay Mills
 10 - 0
 1
 6
 1
 Kings Heath
 6 - 0 - 10
 7
 1 - 0 - 0
 1
 Ladywood
 6
 1
 1 - 10 - 0
 3
 Rotton Park
 1 - 2 - 7
 4
 6
 1
 Saltley
 2 - 3 - 5
 7
 2 - 0
 3
 Small Heath
 12 - 0
 2
 5 - 0
 1
 Sparkbrook
 16 - 6
 3
 2
 1
 Sparkhill
 1 - 6 - 0
 3
   
 Stirchley
 1 - 0 - 6
 2
   
         
 Totals
26 - 4 - 8 
 71
 13 - 18 - 11
 47
 
Note: Sparkhill branch was later renamed 'Springfield'.
 
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