The method of operation utilised by the temporary Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank to gather deposits was based on the purchase of Coupons, through their workplace, by employed persons
Examples of the five different values of Coupons used in this system are shown:
Sixpenny Coupon (2½-pence)
One Shilling (5-pence)
2/6 (Two shillings & sixpence = 12½-pence)
Five Shillings (25-pence)
The background to the use of this method of accumulating funds for subsequent deposit in the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank was described by J P Hilton in his book Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank
The various issues relating to the introduction of the Coupons in 1916 was discussed at a number of meetings of the Bank's Management Committee
Hilton's book also described attempts made by the Birmingham Municipal Bank to encourage thrift in schoolchildren through School Savings Banks.
Eventually, a number of different school savings schemes were introduced, one of which was the use of savings coupons.
(BMB Coupons were re-introduced during the Second World War, as a repeat of the scheme operated by the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank during the First World War - they were then used to start the scheme for schools after the end of the Second World War).
This School Savings Scheme was based on the issue of a Coupon Savings Card - the example illustrated here firstly shows the outside of the card which was folded to produce the front and back of the card.
Front: this was stamped by the participating school - in this example, St Mary's Church of England School, Junior & Infants Department.
Back: shows the value of coupons that can be purchased from a teacher:
- 3d (threepence)
- 6d (sixpence)
- 1/- (one shilling)
- 2/6d (two shillings and sixpence)
- 5/- (five shillings)
The back of the coupon card also showed the three options available to the student that the total savings could be used for:
- deposit in the BMB
- purchase of National Savings Certificates
The most popular choice was probably the combination of the first and third options - deposit into an existing account and immediate withdrawal. Until January 1st 1960, this was the only method of obtaining immediate repayment. But, from that date, pupils were allowed to cash coupons up to the value of £5 by completing an 'Exchange Form' (MB333).
The inside of the Savings Card provided spaces for the insertion of the pupil's name and address, and twenty spaces on which purchased coupons could be affixed. This example has three coupons affixed, each to the value of sixpence.
The identity of the Bank's General Manager is printed at the bottom of the card, indicating that the card was printed in the period 1946 to 1957.
The sale of Coupons continued for many years, and were issued not only by the Birmingham Municipal Bank, but also by the Birmingham Municipal Trustee Savings Bank and the Trustee Savings Bank of Birmingham & the Midlands.
The Coupon Card was eventually replaced by a booklet and Savings Stamps replaced Coupons.