The Introduction of Home Safes
Home Safes
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 Finance Sub-Committee: June 2nd 1924

The General Manager submitted a letter from Messrs Wilkins & Wright intimating that they had 600 Home Safes in stock which they were prepared to dispose of to the Bank at the sum of 4/6d per safe.

The General Manager also reported that no delivery of safes had yet been made by Messrs Taylor, Law & Co., as the first batch made was not according to the agreed sample. No delivery could therefore be made for some five weeks and the General Manager pointed out that the stock in hands of the Bank was almost exhausted.

After consideration it was -

253 RESOLVED:- That an order be placed with Messrs Wilkins & Wright for the supply of the 600 Home Safes referred to in their letter at the price of 4/6d per safe, and that the General Committee be recommended to instruct the Town Clerk to prepare, and if necessary affix the Corporate Seal to any required contract.



Finance Sub-Committee: July 14th 1924

The Sub-Committee were informed that a report had been received from Dr Walter, Analyst of the Gas Department, to the effect that the sample home safe submitted by Messrs Taylor, Law & Co., was in all respects up to the standard required by the Bank.

271 RESOLVED:- That the Contractors be instructed to proceed with the carrying out of the supply of home safes under their contract in accordance with the approved sample.


Finance & House Purchase Sub-Committee: December 14th 1925

In compliance with an instruction passed at the last meeting of the full committee, the General Manager submitted the following summary of replies he had received from Branch Managers as to the causes leading to the surrender of home safes.


Home Safes Surrendered

The Branches have been circularised as to the reason why Home Safes are surrendered, and while it is not a custom to ask the reason or to question it, reasons are at times advanced, and from the replies of the Branch Managers the following summary of reasons is obtained:

Closing of the account (8 Branches)

Transferring the account to another Branch (12 Branches)

Novelty having gone, no further use for them (7 Branches)

Find themselves able to save without a Home Safe, and prefer to (5 Branches)

Used only for holiday purposes and given up (2 Branches)

Retention money of 6/-d. required owing to straightened circumstances (10 Branches)

Want money taken out and given back without going through the books (3 Branches)

Afraid of being stolen - lodger cases (1 Branch)

No complaint has been received as to the method of dealing with the Safes, but at 9 Branches complaints have been made because these Safes are not dealt with during evening hours.

(November 27th 1925)


17 RESOLVED:- That the General Manager be asked to present a report at a future meeting of this Sub-Committee as to the results achieved by the Home Safe method of saving, and submit any recommendations he may desire to be made with regard to the days and times during which the safes should be dealt with.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 12th 1925

General Manager's Annual Report


The Home Safes continue to be popular, and some difficulty has been experienced during the year to meet the demands. The last order was placed with Messrs Taylor. Law & Company at a favourable price. It is gratifying that for a second time a local firm has been found able and willing to undertake this special type of work.

(January 8th 1925)


Finance and House Purchase Sub-Committee: January 11th 1926

On Minute No 17 (Home Safes) the General Manager presented the following report:



At the last meeting of the Finance and House Purchase Sub-Committee I was requested to prepare a report on the results of the Home Safe method of saving and submit recommendations as to days and times when these Safes should be dealt with.

1. Up to the 31st March 1925 the Home Safe method had been responsible for the opening of 3,344 new accounts. Safes were brought in to be opened on 30,417 occasions. The amount taken from the Safes on these occasions totalled 51,910/-/10d. It is impossible to say how much money has been withdrawn from the amount actually deposited by the Home Safe method, as the money is amalgamated and becomes part of the account of the depositor, but it may reasonably be assumed that many of the withdrawals which take place within a day or two of the deposit by the Home Safe method are in respect of such deposits. There can be no doubt that at present Home Safes are popular with certain depositors, as the monthly returns indicate, but the continuance of such popularity is likely to be affected by the opening of additional Branches. As a means of inculcating thrift amongst young children the Safe is an excellent institution, but the School Savings Banks Committee object to the Municipal Bank being urged amongst school children as it may act detrimentally to such School Banks. It is conceivable that if this system was developed amongst school children more Safes would be called for and used than is the case at the present time.

2. Home Safes are issued and deposits accepted through that method at any Daily Branches. The reasons why Evening Branches do not deal with Home Safes are:

(a) Because of lack of accommodation for keeping stocks.

(b) Because of the limited space available for dealing with them.

(c) Because the same officers cannot be relied upon to attend the same Evening Branches.

3. It is the present practice to deal with Home Safes at Daily Branches during the day hours on any day in the week. Evening hours were excluded because the ordinary transactions were so numerous on Monday and Saturday nights that Home Safes could not be dealt with by the ordinary staff. To engage extra staff would be expensive, and any gain from such method of saving would not compensate such expense. The pressure of ordinary business at Daily Branches during the last three years has materially changed, and from recent statistics it is proved that 75% of the total transactions in a week are dealt with during Saturdays and Mondays, while 50% of such 75% take place during day hours of Saturdays and Mondays. This causes the ordinary work of the Bank to be dislocated during day hours on Saturdays and Mondays as a result of dealing with Home Safes, such dislocation being at the expense of the depositor who wishes to deposit or withdraw in the ordinary way, and no little dissatisfaction owing to ordinary depositors having to wait to be dealt with because members of the staff are busy with Home Safes. The Home Safe depositor, under present conditions, has the right to be dealt with as much as the ordinary depositor, but complaints are frequently heard that arrangements ought to be made for Home Safe depositors to give way to ordinary depositors or be dealt with on other days. The very fact that it is not known how much is in a Home Safe necessitates a careful count and recount of the contents, and an examination of the coins as it is not uncommon for foreign coins and other small things to be found inside a Home Safe. It is computed that while an average Home Safe is being dealt with ten ordinary deposits could be attended to or three ordinary withdrawals. It will be realised that the system causes delay.

4. Having regard to the foregoing I am of opinion that the time has arrived to confine Home Safe transactions to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I do not think any real hardship would result from such an arrangement, as it is not absolutely necessary for a depositor to personally bring the Home Safe to the Bank, and a deputy could surely be found to pay the visit on one of the four days suggested.

(December 23rd 1925)


38 RESOLVED:- That the report be approved, and that the General Manager be recommended to instruct that in future Home Safe transactions be dealt with at daily Branches during the ordinary hours of business on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays only.


General Purposes Sub-Committee: January 11th 1926

General Manager's Annual Report


Home Safes continue to prove attractive to a certain class of depositor. The desirability of dealing with these safes during mid-week days has been recently emphasises in a separate report.

(January 9th 1926)


Finance Sub-Committee: December 13th 1926

The General Manager submitted quotations for a further supply of 5,000 Home Safes as follows:

 - Messrs Taylor Law & Co             4/5 each

 - Messrs Wilkins & Wright             3/10  each

16 RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to accept the quotation of Messrs Wilkins & Wright, and to instruct the Town Clerk to enter into and seal the necessary Contract.


[The General Manager suggested] that it would be desirable for one matter to be decided without delay, namely, whether the registration fee of 1/- at present payable when a Home Safe is first issued should be waived. The General Manager pointed out that so long as safeguard are taken as at present for securing that the value of the safe is recovered from the Depositor in the event of loss or damage beyond repair, there appeared to be no need to insist upon a Registration Fee, After consideration it was:

21 RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to abandon the practice of charging a Registration Fee.


Finance Sub-Committee: January 10th 1927

The General Manager presented the following report with reference to the temporary shortage of Home Safes which had occurred and the steps he had taken to facilitate delivery.



On August 14th, 1925 an order was placed with Messrs Taylor, Law & Company, Limited, for the supply of 5,000 Home Safes. Deliveries have been slow from the commencement of the contract, but recently they have been very bad: not one safe was delivered during the month of December, although repeated enquiries have been made and pressure brought to bear. The number delivered up to November last was sufficient to meet the demands of depositors, and although short delays arose it was generally possible to keep the branches supplied with small stocks. The number of safes delivered on this contract to date is 3,264, which still leaves 1,736 to complete the order.

The manufacturers have made various excuses. among which they say that they have experienced considerable difficulty in obtaining deliveries of steel, and recently they have had trouble with the lacquering process. They have altered the process but say that they are still getting a large percentage of rejects and that this is the cause of their not being able to give better delivery. They hope, however, to deliver 500 this week.

In order to endeavour to make up the shortage Messrs Wilkins & Wright, with whom a contract for 5,000 safes has recently been placed, have been approached to see if they could possibly give delivery of some safes to "tide over" the shortage. They state that they have 500 safes partly made and that they will use every effort to deliver them in about fourteen days' time.

If these promises are kept the situation should become easier.

(January 8th 1927)


29 RESOLVED:- That the foregoing report be approved.


The General Manager presented the following report as to the alleged substitution for the Home Safe owned by a depositor, Mrs L Wilkes, of a Safe issued in the name of Miss J Edwards.


[Report re Home Safe No.  15541 - A/c P8044 Mrs L Wilkes and Home Safe No. 11099 - A/c P8166 Miss J Edwards]


30 RESOLVED:- That the matter be referred to the Chairman and the General Manager with authority, in consultation with the Town Clerk, to take such action thereon as they may deem desirable.


Finance Sub-Committee: February 14th, 1927

On Minute No 30 (substitution of Home Safe issued to Mrs L Wilkes) the General Manager reported that Mrs Wilkes, whose home safe had been taken away from her house wrongfully by a relative, had requested that no further steps should be taken in the matter. 

34 RESOLVED:- That the request of Mrs Wilkes be complied with and that the deposit of 6/- be forfeited in respect of the lost safe.


Finance Sub-Committee: March 14th 1927

The General Manager submitted a communication from H H Burman Limited asking to be allowed to tender for Home Safes, and submitted a quotation together with a sample which was smaller and of a different metal from the Home Safes used by the Bank. The price quoted was 3/6d. each in quantities of not less than 5,000.

61 RESOLVED:- That H H Burman Limited be informed that when the Bank are requiring more Home Safes they will be given an opportunity of tendering in accordance with the pattern adopted by the Bank.


Finance Sub-Committee: June 13th 1927

The following tenders were received for the required further supply of 5,000 Home Safes.

 - Messrs Wilkins & Wright Ltd       3/10d each

 - Messrs Burman & Co                  4/1       "

 - Messrs Taylor, Law & Co            4/5       "

100 RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to accept the tender of Messrs Wilkins & Wright Ltd, for the supply of Home Safes at the price of 3/10d each.


Finance Sub-Committee: December 12th 1927

The following tenders were considered for a further supply of 5,000 Home Safes:

 - Messrs Wilkins & Wright Limited          3/10d each

 - Messrs Taylor Law & Co                         4/2d each

151 RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to accept the tender of Messrs Wilkins & Wright Ltd, at the sum of 3/10d each, and to instruct the Town Clerk to prepare and seal the necessary contract.


Finance Sub-Committee: January 9th 1928

The General Manager raised the question of the amount which a depositor was required to have to his credit before a home safe could be issued to him and to cover loss or damage of a safe. The present amount of 6/- was fixed when the safes cost that sum, but having regard to the reduced cost of the safes at the present time, he suggested that the matter might be considered by the Sub-Committee.

170 RESOLVED:- That the General Committee be recommended to reduce the amount from 6/- to 4/-.