Annual Reports - 1973
The number of banking transactions (deposits and withdrawals) during the year exceeded six million for
the first time - over 350 transactions per branch per business day. The Annual Report promises the staff some assistance with this
workload by recording that the On-Line Real-Time (OLRT) computing system will commence the take on of branch accounting in the autumn.
The computerisation process commences with the Administration Department (the new name for the Head Office Accounts Department), followed
by Handsworth branch and will not be completed until March 1976 - the whole process being delayed by industrial action which
caused disruption to power supplies in the winter of 1973/74. The economic situation that led to the industrial unrest was referred
to by the Committee's report - by November 1973, Minimum Lending Rate had reached 13%. The rate payable by the Bank on its various
deposit products was increased accordingly: from January 1st 1973, No 1 Department paid 4½% and No 2 Department 4%. The No 3 Investment
Department rate was increased to 8% on April 1st 1973; the Bank's ability to pay higher rates resulting from a policy of switching
to higher yielding investments - losses incurred in switching being debited to the Investment Reserve Account. The rate charged
by the Bank on its variable rate Mortgages was increased to 8%. The high level of banking transactions during the year included
large increases in Money Transmission business, reflecting the general move away from cash transactions. Current Accounts now number
11,930 with 384,005 cheques cleared; credits to accounts by Payroll Savings (DTS) amount to £12-million; payments by Credit Transfer
and Standing Order number almost 800,000.