Annual Reports - 1971
 
February 15th 1971 saw the Decimalisation of Britain's currency - the Bank's Published Report notes that the changeover went smoothly and the Committee thank the staff for their services during the process, and also the manner in which they responded to new developments. These developments reflected the early stages of the Bank's movement towards providing a comprehensive banking service which included the growth of Cheque Accounts (now numbering 7,559 and which are strongly advertised in the Published Report); the increase in money transmission transactions (Credit Transfers, Direct Debits, and Standing Orders now total nearly 700,000); and the introduction of an agency arrangement whereby Personal Loans are provided by United Dominions Trust. There was an extension of the policy for Mortgage Advances for new properties - loans being made up to 85% of valuation and for periods up to 25 years. New mortgages will in future be at a variable, instead of a fixed rate, currently commencing at 7%. The year saw an increase in business in a number of other areas - the sale of Travellers' Cheques and Foreign Currency increased by 46%; deposits via the Direct Transfer Scheme (Payroll Savings) increased by 19%; and turnover increased by 9%. There was an increase in Deposit balances of 4,696,715 which was the largest amount added since 1946 - the resulting balance was 99,761,865, which with the addition of S.A.Y.E. balances (269,443) took the total to over 100-million. The increase in deposits reflected a hike in the rate of inflation (to 9.4%) and a rise on December 1st 1970  in the rate of interest paid on the basic savings' accounts: No 1 Department to 4%, and No 2 Department to 3%. The rate paid on Investment accounts remained at 7% (from April 1st 1970), but the qualifying balance to be held in a No 1 Department account was reduced from 100 to 50 on October 1st 1970 - the balance on these accounts increased by 4,650,975. Surprisingly, neither the Published Report nor the Council Report record the change of the Bank's General Manager - B P Hayward succeeded S A Guy in September 1970. In a change from the practice employed in previous years, the Published Report makes little reference to historical data; for example, previous reports consistently stated the amount lent on mortgage since 1919. However, this information is exclusively reported to the Council, as is the amount (2,344,106) paid to the representatives of deceased depositors. The part-time Newtown Row branch was closed during the year, the business being transferred to Aston Newtown. Reference is made to the Bank's involvement with the Savings Banks Institute and a proposal to join a TSB Computer Consortium. Decimalisation was an event that was later to appear a catalyst for change in the Bank's history. Transferring the Bank's accounting system to utilise computers was to be one of the major changes forthcoming. A larger impact would be felt by an announcement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Anthony Barber) in his budget speech of April 1971 - the Chancellor announced the appointment of Sir Harry Page  to review the entire field of National Savings. At the same time, the Chancellor raised the tax exemption on interest paid on No 2 Department deposits from 15 to 21.
 
(1) Published Report
 
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Published  Report (cont.)