Annual Reports - 1970
During the Financial Year ended March 31st 1970, the Bank celebrated its Golden Jubilee on September 1st
1969. This 50th year of operation proved to be something of a turning point in the Bank's history as it gradually responded to changing
times and moved away from its roots as a Savings and Housing Bank. The growing practice of buying goods on Hire Purchase rather than
saving for them in a simple passbook account is reflected in the decline of £4.3-million in total deposits in No 1 and No 2 Departments.
Those who do wish to save had the option of an Investment Account (paying 7% from April 1st 1970) or the Government's recently
introduced Save-As-You-Earn (SAYE) scheme which was designed to encourage new savings. Total balances on Investment Accounts
had increased during the year by £3.3-million, but overall Deposit Balances had fallen by approximately £1-million. The total balances
of £95-million prove to be a low turning point as future years would see strong growth with the introduction of more attractive products.
The Published Report added the SAYE balances (£48,863) to Total Balances in the Summary of Business, but the Bank is merely acting
as an agent for the Government - the true position (omitting SAYE balances) is shown by the Balance Sheet. The total Number of Transactions
for the year is approximately 7¼-million, of which the highest non-Bank category is Credit Transfers and Standing Orders (664,577)
- a popular method of making Hire Purchase repayments, although Direct Debits are already starting to supplant Standing Orders. Growth
of Money Transmission services is also shown by the amount of Direct Transfer Scheme (DTS) credits (£6,857,127) and the growth
of Current Account numbers (now 5,609). Sales of Travellers' Cheques and Foreign Currency increased by 22%. Provision is made
for depositors to make withdrawals at nominated branches, and Castle Vale branch is moved to permanent premises. The surplus
on the year's Income and Expenditure Account was £255,485 - this level of profit bringing the Bank's Total Reserves to over £3-million
(3.18% ratio to deposits), both figures a new record high. Up until 1965 it was standard practice for the Published Report to state
that "close co-operation has been maintained with the Trustee Savings Banks Association". Although this statement had been missing
in recent years, some current developments in the TSB Movement would have an impact on the BMB in due course: the establishment of
TSB Unit Trust Management Ltd and the decision of some TSBs to form a consortium to deliver an On-Line computer system.