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Annual Report - 1974
 
The changes in the Bank's structure and methods of operation continued to gather pace in 1973/74. The first of the Bank's 780,000 accounts have been taken on to a computer system, and discussions regarding the Bank's future continue following the publication of the report of the Page Committee. Deposit balances now exceed 120-million and the growth in the popularity of Current Accounts is reflected by over 450,000 cheques being processed. Interest rates remain high (at the Bank's year-end, MLR is 12%) and the Bank responds by introducing a second tier on the Investment Account - 1st Tier pays 8% at 1-month's notice; 2nd Tier pays 9% on 6-months' notice. Despite variable rate Mortgages now being charged at 9%, the amount of advances granted (1,820,865) is a new high. The 'Notes forming part of the accounts' includes much more information than reported in previous years, particularly in relation to the Bank's Investments. An Investment Amortization account was created during the year, and the 'Notes' explain the policy involved and detail the transactions made. Note 3 to the accounts give (for the first time) an analysis of the Dated Government and other Marketable Securities held by the Bank. This note shows that although the amount paid by the Bank for these securities has only increased by 896,012 since the previous year end, the market value of the same securities has fallen from 58,369,632 to 48,688,692 - a decrease in value of 9,680,940. This fall in market value reflects the growth in interest rates, and it's these high rates that have dominated the Bank's investment policy over the year. Whilst customer balances have increased by 6-million, only 896,012 (net) has been placed in Marketable Securities. The Balance Sheet shows that advantage of high interest rates has been obtained by increasing holdings with other Banks (up approximately 2-million); Loans to the Corporation and Local Authority Mortgages (up 1,150,000); and House Purchase Advances to customers (up 884,333). The Auditors' Report is the last produced by Agar, Bates, Ledsam & Co, the firm that has audited the Bank's accounts since 1920; the change to Price, Waterhouse & Co is a consequence of a Council decision that all Corporation Departments have the same auditor. The Committee Report also records a change of General Manager - Mr J W Hoccom replacing Mr B P Hayward.
 
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Published  Report (cont.)