Passbooks (Depositors' Department)
Examples of passbooks used to record transactions made on deposit accounts
Front covers of early passbooks - probably the original design applicable from 1919. The passbooks are individually printed with the
name of the branch - an expensive option that was abandoned in due course. The front cover also has the depositor's account number
shown, another practice that was dropped for later cover designs.
The title of the Bank printed on the front covers includes
the word 'THE' - a format not used on future passbooks.
The inside cover of the Bournville Works passbook illustrated above; transactions are dated for 1920. The 'initials' column has provision
for the mark of two officers:
'C' - presumably 'Cashier'
'L' - presumably 'Ledger'
correspond with the requirement of the Bank's early Regulations that 'two or more officers of the Bank shall be parties to every transaction
of the depositor, so as to form a double check on every such transaction.'
Note that the outstanding balance of 7d has been rubber
stamped 'Insp S.E.B.' This is a confirmation that a Branch Inspector (in this case: S E Bennett) has compared the passbook balance
with the ledger balance (see Inspection
A different style of passbook was used for an account opened at Head Office
The inside of the back cover of this Harborne branch passbook shows the limited amount of information etc that was printed in passbooks
at this time; later editions (see below) carried a lot more detail. The list of Committee members etc has been obscured by two stickers.
The design of this Lozells passbook dates to about 1924 (judged by the list of branches printed in the rear cover). Although the branch
name and account number are still shown on the front of the book, some of the details are rubber stamped in spaces provided
for the purpose.
The colour of the book has been changed from pink to yellow.
This Bournville Works passbook shows transactions for the period 1939 to 1941. The majority of the withdrawal transactions are written
in red ink, suggesting that this was the standard procedure until the 1940s. Additions of Annual Interest are marked with an appropriately
dated rubber stamp, and the Bonus Interest paid by Cadbury Brothers to their employees is shown with another stamp (see Bournville
Note that DEPOSITS are entered in 'Words and Figures', and WITHDRAWALS are entered in figures against the word
'Repaid'. The practice of using 'Words and Figures' for deposits received direct from employers was amended in 1956, and replaced
with a rubber stamp
An example of a passbook issued in 1940 (Northfield branch). The colour is still yellow, and the branch name is still being rubber-stamped
on the front cover.
Following the introduction of the No 2 Department in
1957, passbooks were colour coded: yellow for the No 1 Department, and blue for the No 2 Department
. The latest version still bears
the Coat of Arms of the City of Birmingham.
A red passbook
was introduced for the new Special Investment (No 3) Department from
January 1st 1967.
In 1963, the interior of the passbook was redesigned to contain an extra page setting out brief particulars of the Bank's services, as
shown in the following illustrations.
The inside front cover now has three boxes for the addition of cross-references:
- where the depositor also has an account
in the No 2 Department;
- Home Safe number, where issued;
- Nomination number, where
Previously, this type of information was added by use of a rubber stamp.
The space above 'Hours of Business' was used to
insert (by rubber stamp) the name and address of the branch - see Circular to Branches (below).
The next page (below left) included
details of the two deposit products now available to depositors, and details of how certain type of transactions can be conducted.
pages of the passbook gave details of various services available through the bank, and the rear cover is printed with the Bank's 'key'
All passbooks for new accounts were pre-numbered by the Head Office Stationery Department before being issued to branches; the numbering
being accomplished with a special rubber stamp device that automatically incremented a number by 1 as it was stamped on the inside
front cover of the passbook.
Branches requested passbooks when completing the half-yearly Stationery Requisition, indicating the number
of books required and the range of numbers to be inserted. On receipt of the books, these details were then recorded in the Branch
, as illustrated (left
) by Small Heath branch in August 1967. This record shows that the branch received 300 passbooks
for No 1 Department accounts (numbered 70,501 to 70,800); 200 passbooks for No 2 Department accounts (numbered 4,801 to 5,000); and
100 passbooks for No 3 Department accounts (numbered 151 to 250).
In addition to New Accounts, passbooks were also required when an
existing book was full of transactions (these were known as Continuation Passbooks) and when an existing passbook was reported lost
or mutilated by a depositor (Replacement Passbooks). A passbook required for either of these purposes was issued from a branch's
stock of 'Continuation' passbooks, each of which was identified with a unique number. In the case of Small Heath branch, in August
1967, 200 books numbered F64,601 to F64,800 have been received for use in the No 1 Department. The passbook's number, in the early
years of the Bank, was stamped on the front cover (see example on left) where it must have caused confusion as early passbooks (see
above) had the Account Number in this position. In later years, the number was stamped on the inside rear of the book.