Head Office Passbooks
Two Passbooks for an account open from 1926 to 1948
Three Passbooks used for 'Head Office X Accounts'
Depositors' Department
Account Types
(No 1 Dept)
(No 2 Dept)
(No 3 Dept)
Two passbooks completely cover the period of an account opened by a Miss M Southern on April 21st 1926. The Account Number (36601) indicates the number of accounts opened at Head Office in just over six years since September 1st 1919. The Account Number is printed on both the outside and inside of the front cover, but unusually, does not have the Branch Designatory Letters (HO) inserted prior to it. The Account Number was pre-printed in the passbook, prior to the issue to the branch, as a form of security control. The Hours of Business printed on the stuck-in label applied from July 31st 1931.
Pages 2 to 5 of the passbook contain entries for numerous deposits and ten withdrawals (marked "Repaid") - a typical pattern for a Savings Account. Capitalised Interest is added to the account balance on March 31st, against an appropriate Rubber Stamp, for the years 1928, 1930, 1931, 1932, and 1933; no interest was earned at March 31st 1929 as the account balance was below 1 from April 25th 1928 to June 24th 1929. Except for the Interest stamps, all entries are hand-written, in contrast with the extensive use of rubber stamps in later years.
The final three pages of the passbook show transactions for the years 1934 to 1946. In this period, that included the war years when many depositors responded to patriotic requests to save, the account balance increased from 223 to 422. The inside rear cover contains two out-of-date statements: the Bank's Head Office moved from Edmund Street to Broad Street in 1933; and the Rate of Interest reduced to 3% on December 1st 1932. The passbook indicates that Home Safe Number 81726 was returned on April 23rd 1941.
With the original passbook becoming full, a Continuation Book was issued. Each branch held a stock of passbooks to use for this purpose (and to replace lost passbooks) - for security control purposes these books were pre-numbered, in this example (C 7790), on the front cover. The new book is correctly marked with the Branch Designatory Letters and, in addition, is stamped "Head Office" on the outside and inside of the front cover. The book is also marked to indicate that it is the account's "2nd Book".
Although the second passbook is the same size as the first (approximately 6" x 3" closed) it contains a firmer cover, has 12 pages for entries instead of 8, and the Bank's Key Logo is printed on the rear cover.
The three Head Office passbooks illustrated below were issued for 'X Accounts' ie, accounts designated for special purposes, usually of a non-personal type. These first two accounts have been opened on behalf of the Bank's staff:
X 3410 - The Birmingham Municipal Bank Staff Social &
                 Recreation General Fund;
 X 2688 - Birmingham Municipal Bank Staff Red Cross
                 Penny a Week Fund
Alum Rock
This Head Office 'Society Account' was opened by  the John Hardman Studios Staff Sick Club. The passbook is of a design issued from 1969, the year that the Bank ceased opening on a Saturday.
It is not known when the account was opened, but its Account Number would probably have been HO X 5134. When the use of Designatory Letters to identify branches was discontinued, the Account Number was amended to: 01-1-X5134 - the '01' indicating an account held at the Head Office, and the '1' indicating that the account was in the No 1 Department.
That number was replaced upon the computerisation of the Bank's records to: 01-068241-11.
01 still indicates Head Office; the next six digits are unique to this customer; the first digit of the final two numbers indicates that this is a savings account; the final '1' is a check digit.
Page 1 shows the account balance's conversion to Decimal Currency in 1971, and Page 2 is annotated 'Balance transferred to Computer Passbook' - the remaining pages are then marked 'CANCELLED'.
The passbook includes up-to-date (1970) information regarding the Bank's services and interest rates.
A page towards the rear of the passbook contains the reference 'G 66229'. This is a security number used to control the issue of 'Continuation' passbooks.
A box on the inside front cover of the passbook has spaces for cross-referencing of other accounts and services used by the depositor.