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Hours of Business - 1947 Review
 
BMB in World War II
 
 
Branch Hours
of Opening
 
During the Second World War, the Bank's Hours of Business were amended to take account of the difficulties consequent upon the implementation of 'black-out' regulations. The outcome was, as detailed in Hours of Business - 1939 to 1945, different opening hours during the winter months (no evening openings) and the summer months.
 
After the War, a completely new set of Hours of Business were introduced from January 1st 1946. These hours were subject to a review by the Bank's Committee of Management in 1947. That review is reproduced below, together with the comments made by two depositors in letters to the Birmingham Mail.
 
 
Report by H Carver, General Manager (June 1947)

At the meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee held on the 2nd December 1946, a report was submitted on the question of the hours of business, when the Committee decided that the present hours of business should be continued and that a further report should be submitted in six months' time.The present hours of business were adopted by the Committee on and from 1st January 1946, after consideration of a comprehensive report by the former General Manager, Mr J P Hilton, and are as follows:

 
 Hours of business
 Approximate Working hours 
 Monday 
 10am to 3pm
 9am to 4pm 
 Tuesday
 10am to 3pm
 9am to 4pm
 Wednesday
 10am to 3pm
 9am to 4pm
 Thursday
 10am to 3pm
 9am to 4pm
 Friday
 10am to 3pm
 9am to 4pm
                 and
 6pm to 8pm
 5:30pm to 8:30pm
 Saturday
 10am to 12 noon
 9am to 12:30pm
 
Total 29 hours
 Total 39 hours approximately.
General Corporation hours 38

The working hours, it will be remembered, were based on an allowance of half-an-hour per day for meal time and a leaving time of 4pm on five days of the week. At larger Branches and Head Office, work is not likely to be completed before that time. At pressure periods the time would, of course, be later. The Committee will appreciate that longer hours are worked at larger Branches and Head Office than at smaller Branches. All officers are required to commence work at 9am, but the time of leaving is left to the Manager, who must be satisfied that essential work has been done.

I give hereunder the total transactions each month from November 1946 to April 1947, showing also the percentage and number of transactions during Friday evenings:

Month
1946/1947 
 Total  No of Transactions,
including Evenings
No of Evening
Transactions 
Percentage of Evening
to Total Transactions 
 No of Friday
Evenings
 November
315,969
 25,993
 8.226%
 5
 December
282,693 
 18,505
 6.546%
 4
 January
278,003
  22,008 
 7.917%
 5
 February
 236,338 
 12,642
  5.349% 
 4
 March
246,478
 15,584
 6.323%
 4
 April 
350,048
  17,679 
  5.050% 
 3
 
1,709,529
 112,411
  6.5755% 
 25
The pre-War distribution of transactions between day and evening hours of business represent a remarkable contrast, as follows:
Year ended 31st March 1939
 
Total
Transactions 
 Evening
Transactions
 Percentage
 
 Monday: 403,679
 12.9%
 3,108,059
 Friday: 461,412
 14.8%
During the week ended May 17th 1947, a record was taken at Head Office and 16 Branches of the number of transactions spread over the week, and the averages are as follows:
               
 
Monday
 Tuesday
 Wednesday
Thursday 
Friday 
Saturday 
Total 
 10 - 11am 
58
61
47
55
39
78
 338
 11 - 12 noon
74
56
44
47
32
90
 343
 12 - 1pm
40
36
50
26
25
 
 177
 1 - 2pm
37
27
31
24
27
 
 146
 2 - 2:30pm
25
20
12
17
18
 
 92
 2:30 - 3pm
34
30
14
20
25
 
 123
 6 - 7pm
 
 
 
 
43
 
 43
 7 - 8pm
 
 
 
 
 39
 
 39
 
 268
 230
 198
 189
 248
 168
 1,301

From the above figures, and from general enquiries I have made, the public does not seem to take full advantage of the Friday evening opening. There is no doubt that the staff could easily handle a larger number of transactions on Friday evening than at present.

As stated in my previous report, the explanation may be that many people pre-War did their shopping on Friday evenings, and called at the Bank, whereas, today, with earlier shop-closing, there is a tendency not to make special journeys to the Bank in the evening. Moreover, the increased number of workers enjoying the five-day week has resulted in some of the depositors visiting the Bank on Saturday morning instead of Friday evening.
Despite the comments of these depositors, the Bank's opening hours continued to be those adopted as from January 1st 1946. The hours were not changed again until December 31st 1958 - this 13 year period being the longest in which there was no amendments made to the Hours of Business.