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Annual Reports - 1925 (cont.)
 
 
(3) General Manager's Report made to the General Purposes Sub-Committee on January 9th 1926

During the twelve months ended the 31st December 1925 satisfactory progress can once again be recorded. The attached sheet indicates the extent of the development of the Bank, and does not require amplification.

 

Home Safes continue to prove attractive to a certain class of depositor. The desirability of dealing with these safes during mid-week days has been recently emphasised in a separate report.

 

The increased business in the House Purchase Department is most marked, and may be attributed to the generous policy of the Council, whereby Corporation houses can be purchased with a low deposit. Advantage has not been taken by many of the scheme whereby tenants may become owner-occupiers of Corporation houses on a deposit equal to 1% of the purchase price. A close watch has been kept on the repayments, with the result that the arrears are remarkably low, having regard to the number of mortgages in force. In one or two cases only has it been necessary to take stern measures to protect the Bank's interests. There is, however, a tendency on the part of some mortgagors to ignore the terms of the mortgage requiring a monthly repayment to be made.

 

The difficulties which presented themselves in connection with Progressive Mortgages have been overcome, and such mortgages have now been transferred into Bank Mortgages, thus enabling the money to be paid back to the City Treasurer and made available for use in other cases. All Progressive Mortgages now entered into automatically become Bank Mortgages when the final advance has been made.

 

The system of working School Savings Banks remains unaltered, but it is hoped, as a result of the Conference shortly to be held between the Bank and Education Committees and investigations to be made into the Leeds system, that a more satisfactory scheme will be evolved.

Collection of Water Accounts has proceeded during the year on the same lines as heretofore. These accounts can now be dealt with at the Head Office or any Branch.

 

Payment of Rates through the Bank has taken place by the same method as obtained in previous years. The method and restrictions are never likely to become popular. It was hoped twelve months ago that a better scheme might be instructed, but such scheme has not matured. The passing of the Rating and Valuation Bill may provide an opportunity for collecting Rates on lines similar to those for Water Accounts, but failing this steps should be taken to secure powers.

 

On the 1st April 1925 arrangements were brought into operation for collecting Electricity Accounts in a manner similar to that for Water Accounts, but the Electric Supply Department unfortunately limited the collection to outlying Branches, thus cutting out the larger and more important Branches. It was a mistake on the part of the Bank to allow this partial collection to take place, producing, as it has done, so much irritation at Bank counters.

 

The question of remuneration for collecting moneys for other Departments should be placed on a proper basis, and I hope to submit proposals to the Committee at an early date. The Overseers have never made a contribution as yet towards the cost of collection, nor have they provided or paid for the stationary used in connection with the scheme.

 

NEW BRANCHES

During the year a newly erected Daily Branch was opened at Spring Hill, and Evening Branches were opened at Summer Lane, Rubery and Kings Norton.

 

STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS

Enlargements of Branches at Small Heath, Aston and Hockley have been completed during the year, while premises purchased at Lozells, Acock's Green, Hay Mills and Saltley have been altered and adapted for Bank purposes. On completion of the alterations both Acock's Green and Hay Mills were turned into Daily Branches.

 

ERECTIONS AND ALTERATIONS PROCEEDING

The new buildings at Erdington and Northfield are nearing completion, as are also the alterations to premises at Ward End.

 

BUILDINGS AND SITES PURCHASED

Buildings have been purchased at Bearwood, Bordesley Green and Nechells, and sites acquired or in process of acquirement at Fox Hollies, Dogpool and Brookvale, and premises purchased adjoining the Aston Cross and Balsall Heath Branches.

 

NEW HEAD OFFICES

The opening of the new Head Offices on the 6th July 1925 marked a red letter day in the history, inasmuch as the Bank became possessed for the first time of Head Office premises under its own control. The relief afforded on the administration side by the first floor accommodation is welcome, but the lack of space on the ground floor is apparent and evokes complaints from depositors and others.

 

NEW REGULATIONS

These became operative on the 1st April 1925, and appropriate instructions were issued to all officers in connection therewith.

 

STAFF CHANGES

During the year the following changes have been made:-

 

Resignations, etc

           F D Barker                (to enter private business)

           W F Heath                 (unsatisfactory)

           F R Owen                   (unsatisfactory)

           I E Parkin                   (on marriage)

           E R Brighton              (on marriage)

           D N Wilson                 (ill health)

           Mr and Mrs Millin      (unsatisfactory)

 

Appointments

           General Clerks:

                       H J Sutherland

                       H Price

                       N G Yardley

            Junior Clerks:

                       C P Addis

                       G T Edwards

                       J Holmes

                       H G Payne

                       H E Shaw

                       T A E Wilner

                       N W Ravenscroft

                       D G Whetnall

                       L F Dobson

                       H D Copeland

                       A Morgan

                       B P Hayward

            Female Clerks:

                       I V Hastings

                       A C Brown

                       R E Cother

                       A H Ellis

                       D M Foster

                       D Haddleton

                       K F O'Malley

                       D A Otty

                       J M Waller

                       W M Mann

                       D H Dee

                       M W Neale

                       L Wargetts

            Caretakers:

                       Mr and Mrs Millin

                       Mr and Mrs Taylor

The Staff now comprises:

            Males            43

            Females         39

           Juniors           35

           Caretakers       2

                                

            Total           119

 

HEALTH OF STAFF

The Bank has been unfortunate in absences of Staff from duty during illnesses, the total days' service lost during the year being 672.

 

Mr Ladbrooke returned to duty after a long illness; but Mr Hawkins (whose illness had extended over several years) passed away on the 27th June 1925.

 

Mr Taylor and Mr Rees (each of whom has been away with leg troubles, and upon whom operations have been performed) have now returned to duty.

 

Mr Jackson is likely to be away for two months or more with tonsil and other trouble.

 

EDUCATIONAL CLASSES

The classes were well attended by Bank students and the results were very satisfactory. Messrs J W Raftery and R H Tafft successfully completed the course in Part I under the Institute of Bankers classes, and were handed their Memoranda by the Chairman. The "Holden" Prizes (1st and 2nd) given by the Midland Bank, were won by Mr Carver and Miss N M Brown; the School of Commerce Prize for Commercial Geography was won by Mr Tafft, and the School of Commerce Prize for Foreign Exchange was won by Mr C E Harper. The Lord Mayor presented these prizes to the successful students. The new Principal of the School of Commerce has arranged a special course of classes to meet the case of students who must pass the qualifying examination of the Institute of Bankers before they can study for other usual subjects.

 

DISCHARGE OF DUTIES

During the Summer Vacation the Chairman and General Manager found it necessary to suspend and ultimately dismiss F R Owen, a young assistant, for wrongful alteration of books of account and shortage of cash. Taken as a whole, the staff have performed their duties satisfactorily, but in one or two cases the Chairman and General Manager have felt it necessary to take stern measures in respect of irregularities, resulting in Mr Neighbour being deprived of his post as Branch Manager and given a post as Cashier, with a reduction in basic salary of 50 per annum, and Mr Jackson being suspended from his post as a Branch Manager and his salary reduced by 25 per annum. A further lapse having occurred on Mr Jackson's part, it is felt that he must be treated exactly as Mr Neighbour.

 

EXCESS AND SHORT CASH

 

During the year the short cash has amounted to 33. 16. 2d and the excess cash to 27. 0. 6d, particulars of which are summarised on sheet attached. It is recommended that a cheque for 33. 16. 2d be drawn on the General Account in respect of the short cash to reimburse the "Under and Over" Account.

 
 Excess Cash
Amount ( - s - d)
 Number of
Occasions
Short Cash
Amount ( - s - d) 
 Number of
Occasions
 Head Office 
10 - 3 - 11
 28
 5 - 7 - 10
 18
 Acocks Green
 6
1
12 - 6
4
 Aston
1 - 3 - 3
6
 1 - 0 - 0
 1
 Aston Cross
 1 - 0
 2
 4 - 0
4
 Balsall Heath
7 - 4
 6
2 - 10 - 3
12
 Bearwood
 1 - 1 - 0
2
 1 - 0 - 6
2
 Duddeston
10 - 9
 2
1 - 0 - 6
 2
 Erdington
 1 - 1 - 2
3
4 - 6
3
 Handsworth
11 - 0
2
1 - 2 - 10
 3
 Harborne
 1 - 0
 1
10 - 0
 1
 Hay Mills
 8 - 8
 5
 
 
 Hockley
 1 - 0 - 0
1
 19 - 6
2
 Kings Heath
 1 - 2 - 0
2
 
 
 Ladywood
2 - 0 - 0
 2
 2 - 0 - 6
2
 Lozells
 3 - 0
2
 
 
 Northfield
 
 
10 - 0
1
 Rotton Park
 4 - 6
 4
1 - 3
2
 Saltley
 3 - 5 - 4
10
18 - 6
8
 Selly Oak
 10 - 0
 1
 
 
 Small Heath
1 - 1 - 6
 3
10 - 1 - 0
 2
 Sparkbrook
 1 - 0 - 0
 2
 3 - 10 - 0
4
 Sparkhill
 2 - 3
 2
 15 - 0
 2
 Stirchley
 1 - 1 - 0
 2
 1 - 0 - 0
 1
 Ward End
 
 
 7 - 6
1
 Witton
 1 - 3
 1
   
         
 Totals
27 - 0 - 5 
 90
 33 - 16 - 2
 75
 
Note: Sparkhill branch was later renamed 'Springfield'.
 
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