Management
 
 
Home
 
Annual Reports
 
 
Next Report
 
 
Next Report
 
Annual Reports - 1926 (cont.)
 
 
(3) General Manager's Report made to the General Purposes Sub-Committee on February 14th 1927

DEATH OF CHAIRMAN

In presenting my Annual Report for the year ended 31st December 1926, I have to record with deepest regret the great loss sustained by the passing of Councillor C T Appleby, JP. From the establishment of the Bank he had held the Chairmanship. His enthusiasm in the work of the Bank, his wise leadership and helpful advice have contributed, to an incalculable extent, to the position which the Bank occupies to-day.

 

DEATH OF MR HALLAS

Following closely upon the loss of Councillor Appleby we had to suffer a further loss by the death of Mr Hallas, who had been a Member of the Committee since the establishment of the Bank, and in its early stages contributed very greatly to making our Bank the success we know it to be to-day.

 

PROGRESS

The attached sheet indicates the remarkable development during the year. This is particularly noticeable in the figures relating to the House Purchase Department. The tendency of certain mortgagors to ignore their obligations causes some anxiety, particularly in respect of Corporation houses. It is felt that the low deposit instituted for the benefit of house purchasers have been abused, and that mortgages have been entered into which the mortgagors have never intended to keep to. There are indications of a determined effort in certain districts to ignore the mortgage in order to force a tenancy, and the Committee will require to give very serious consideration to a problem which was not contemplated, and which would never have arisen if a different policy had been pursued in selecting applicants. On the whole, repayments under the terms of mortgages have been well maintained, despite the fact that the Coal Strike has placed many mortgagors in an embarrassing position. Sympathetic consideration has been shown to genuine cases of distress, and extension of time in which to make repayments has been allowed in many instances.

 

The collection of Water and Electricity Accounts has proceeded on normal lines and without hitch. The decision of the Electric Supply Committee to abandon the limitation of Bank Offices which might be used for this purpose, is now beginning to show itself in the number of accounts dealt with.

 

On the 1st October 1926 the Collection of Gas Accounts at Bank Offices was brought about, and I have no doubt that, just as in the case of Water and Electricity, we shall witness much use being made of our Offices for this purpose.

 

The payment of Rates through the Bank has continued on lines as heretofore. This system, always unpopular and laborious, will soon cease, as the Overseers cease to function on the 31st March. With the control vesting in the Corporation, we ought to be able to place Collection of Rates on the same footing as Water and other accounts.

 

The question of remuneration for this work of collection has been amicably settled during the year, and at last the sums due to the Bank from the Overseers for this work have been paid.

 

SCHOOL SAVINGS BANKS

Once again, I have to report no advance in the direction of making School Savings Banks more useful, though I am not without hope that some improved arrangement will be introduced before long.

 

NEW BRANCES

During the year the re-constructed premises at Bordesley Green were opened as a Daily Branch, while Evening Branches have also been opened at Brookvale, Little Bromwich and Perry Common, and a one-day Branch at Rednal.

 

STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS AND NEW BUILDINGS

A very busy year has passed in connection with extending existing branches, and new erections. The new buildings at Erdington and at Northfield, and the altered premises at Ward End were opened during the year, and the enlargements at Aston Cross and Bearwood completed.

 

ERECTIONS AND ALTERATIONS PROCEEDING

New buildings are in course of erection at Birchfield and Nechells, and extensions at Balsall Heath and Duddeston proceeding.

 

BUILDINGS AND SITES PURCHASED

During the year sites have been purchased at Selly Park, Pype Hayes, and Hall Green, and premises purchased at Moseley, Sparkhill and Alum Rock.

 

HEAD OFFICES

As I indicated in my report for last year, the shortage of accommodation is a serious drawback, and has now become acute. Efforts to obtain adjoining premises have met with no success, and the City Surveyor has now been asked to endeavour to secure other premises. It is hoped that when action is taken to acquire other premises, the long view will prevail, and that ample accommodation for the future needs of the Bank will be provided so that we shall not again have to face the inconvenience and expense of removal.

 

RE-DECORATION OF BRANCH PREMISES

Several of our Branches look rather bad as a result of the drying-out process, and I suggest that these be now re-decorated where the drying-out may be looked upon as being effected.

 

STAFF CHANGES

During the year the following changes have taken place:-

Resignations, etc -

           R J Potter                   (to take up other work)

            Miss D E Blackwell  (on marriage)

           Miss F M Horton       (to take up other work)

Appointments -

           General Clerks:        H R Kirk

                                               W C Baker

                                               W Buxton

                                               F W E Hall (temporary)

            Junior Clerks:          S W Lawrance

                                               C E Gane

                                               F M Hoodhouse

                                               J L E Edwards

                                               G L Boden

                                               J A Smith

                                               R J Potter

                                               W Brown

                                               W H Stanton

                                               G A Ridley

                                               H G Williams

                                               K R Willingham

                                               F M Thompson

            Female Clerks:        M P Robinson

                                               G Price

                                               W Keatley

                                               A M Lomas

 

The Staff now comprises:   Males            50

                                               Females         41

                                               Juniors           42

                                               Caretakers       2

 

                                               Total:              135

 

HEALTH OF THE STAFF

There has been substantial lost time during the year owing to illnesses, no less than 424 days being thus accounted for. The most noteworthy absentee has been Mr W E Jackson, whose health appears to have become seriously impaired. There is a tendency amongst certain of the female clerks to absent themselves on a Saturday or Monday, when an effort might have been made to carry through. The pressure on these two days is well-known, and I have thought it necessary to issue a warning that the Committee expect greater care to be taken by the Staff in safeguarding their health so as not to inflict a harder burden on those who are carrying on the work.

 

EDUCATIONAL CLASSES

The classes arranged at the Municipal School of Commerce were well attended on the whole, although in one or two cases I found it necessary to draw attention to absenteeism. There have been several prize-winners amongst the Staff, which is a pleasing feature. The year also marked the first Municipal Bank student to qualify as an Associate of the Institute of Bankers - Mr F H Whitehouse being the successful person, gaining distinction in Commercial Geography, and being bracketed 100 out of 846 successful candidates. The Institute elected me a Fellow in March last.

 

EXCESS AND SHORT CASH

During the year the short cash has amounted to 22. 16. 11d, and the excess cash to 31. 3. 10d, particulars of which are summarised on sheet attached. It is recommended that a cheque for 22. 16. 11d be drawn on the General Account in respect of the short cash to reimburse the "Under and Over" Account.

 

NEW SYSTEM OF MAKING DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWALS

During the year steps have been taken to secure greater privacy at the counter and to avoid depositors moving from one position to another. The deposit slip system introduced during the year has worked very well, and appears to have given general satisfaction to depositors. The provision of window recess desks and partitions in private offices at Daily Branches, and as many Evening Branches as possible, has been appreciated.

 

TREASURY COMMITTEE ON MUNICIPAL BANKS

The outstanding feature of the year, perhaps, has been the setting up of a Committee by the Treasury to consider the question of extending Municipal Banks. The Committee is presided over by Lord Bradbury, and commenced to take evidence on November 12th, when the Chairman (Alderman Sir Percival Bower) accompanied by the City Treasurer and myself, gave evidence. The Association of Municipal Corporations have also been invited to give evidence, and have set up a Committee to prepare such evidence. The Chairman is collaborating with me in connection with this Committee.

 

DEPUTATIONS AND ENQUIRIES

The year has brought forth numerous enquiries, including foreign and colonial, in respect of the Bank, and many deputations have visited Birmingham. To all the usual information has been given, and every opportunity afforded the deputations to see for themselves what is being done.

 

INTERNATIONAL THRIFT INSTITUTE

The Institute, which was set up in 1925, held its anniversary meeting in Philadelphia this year. The published reports clearly indicate widespread support, and as years go by more importance still will attach to this Institute. Already 27 countries are co-operating. A regrettable mistake was made in deciding not to take part in the first Conference in Milan, and I am glad the Committee have now taken steps to see that we are brought more closely into touch with others. The development of Municipal Banks in Germany since 1924 is remarkable, and the Committee would do well to study the system introduced, particularly in view of the fact that an extension of Municipal Banks in this Country may take place.

 
 Excess Cash
Amount ( - s - d)
 Number of
Occasions
Short Cash
Amount ( - s - d) 
 Number of
Occasions
 Head Office 
6 - 3 - 8
 23
 9 - 17 - 10
 17
 Acocks Green
 
 
11 - 0
2
 Aston
1 - 7 - 2
11
 2 - 6
3
 Aston Cross
4 - 0 - 3
3
3 - 6
2
 Balsall Heath
2 - 0
1
3 - 3 - 0
5
 Bearwood
 4 - 6
5
 1 - 0
2
 Bordesley Green
3
1
 
 
 Duddeston
12 - 6
 3
 
 
 Erdington
 1 - 8 - 11
4
3
1
 Handsworth
6 - 0 - 0
2
1 - 0
1
 Hockley
 2 - 3
2
 
 
 Kings Heath
 
 
11 - 0
2
 Ladywood
11 - 6
3
 1 - 0 - 0
1
 Little Bromwich
 5 - 0
1
 
 
 Lozells
 1 - 6
2
13 - 3
3
 Northfield
7
1
 
 
 Rotton Park
1 - 0 - 3
2
11 - 0
3
 Saltley
 2 - 1 - 6
12
7
3
 Small Heath
3 - 5 - 0
7
1 - 13 - 0
 6
 Sparkbrook
 1 - 5 - 6
 6
 1 - 4 - 0
4
 Sparkhill
 2 - 0 - 11
 4
 3 - 1 - 6
 4
 Stechford
 7
 2
 
 
 Stirchley
 10 - 0
 5
 
 
 Ward End
 
 
2 - 0
1
 Witton
 
 
 6
 1
         
 Totals
31 - 3 - 10 
 100
 22 - 16 - 11
 61
 
Note: Sparkhill branch was later renamed 'Springfield'.
BACK TO THE TOP