Branch Record Book
In 1966, the Bank amended its instructions to branches regarding the maintenance of the Branch Record Book. With effect from May 12th 1966, branches were no longer required to make entries in the Record Book in respect of:
  1. Alterations in the title of Accounts
  2. Lost Pass Books
  3. The Accounts of:
  •     Trustees
  •     Executors
  •     Administrators
  •     Bankrupts
  •     Persons of Unsound Mind
  •     Attorneys
  •     Nominations
From the same date, record keeping was simplified in regard to Home Safes; withdrawals by post; and the accounts of Deceased Depositors. The consequence of these changes appears to have been the commencement of a new Record Book. A foolscap-sized book, with almost 300 blank pages, was supplied by Head Office to each branch, in which was to be recorded certain specified data. Branches were required to number the book's pages, and to then set up twelve sections (numbered 1 to 12 below) to record the information detailed below. Over the succeeding years, these twelve sections were expanded considerably - despite computerisation of the Bank's accounting system in the 1970s, manual recording was still required for many facets of branch operations.
This section aggregated the balances on accounts closed subsequent to the death of a depositor - analysing the total between the amount withdrawn from the Bank ('Cash') and the amount transferred to another account with the Bank.
The example opposite shows part of the record for Small Heath branch in 1966/67. In that year, 43,505 was paid out on 100 accounts, and 10,813 transferred from 32 accounts.
The maintenance of this record enabled the Bank to monitor the amount being lost from total deposits due to the death of depositors. By the 1960s, the Bank had been in existence for over 50 years, and the age profile of depositors in well-established branches and districts (such as Small Heath) was above average. In certain years, the total lost to the Bank in this way was reported in the Annual Accounts.
(see Accounts of Deceased Depositors)
This section recorded the Orders used by the branch to draw cash from the local branch of one of the Joint Stock Banks used as agents by BMB.
The page reproduced opposite shows that in April 1966, Small Heath branch kept a stock of Orders to the value of 5,000 (4 @ 1,000 and 2 @ 500). On May 13th, a 500 Order (numbered 008629) was cashed, and this was replaced by Head Office sending out Order number 008757.
A note at the top of the page shows that the branch's standard holding was increased from 5,000 to 6,000 at some unspecified date (probably December 1966). The branch's stock of Orders was returned to Head Office in April 1969 - the date from which branches were able to draw their own Orders.
A description of the Bank's agency relationship with local Joint Stock Banks is included in Accounts Department.
Customer requests to buy and sell Stocks and Shares were relayed to the stockbroker used by the Bank: Chambers and Remington (whose telephone number is shown in red at the top of this page of the Branch Record Book). The column headings show what details of each transaction were recorded:
The final column recorded the amount credited to the depositor's account (for sales) or Head Office Suspense Account X1360 (for purchases)
This section simply listed those depositors who have given the Bank a Standing Order to debit their Savings Account with bills for:
The term 'Corporation Accounts' derived from the historical fact that all four of the above services were originally supplied by Birmingham Corporation. At this date (1960s), 'Gas' meant West Midlands Gas Board, and 'Electricity' meant Midlands Electricity Board.
The 'S.O. No.' in the first column was the number printed by the Gas Board etc on the customer's bill subject to a Standing Order. This number enabled the branch (by reference to the Branch Record Book) to identify the depositor's account to be debited. The S.O. No. was replaced by the depositor's actual account number on new instructions taken after October 1st 1963 - thus simplifying the system.
(see Credit Transfers & Standing Orders)
            FROM HEAD OFFICE
Prior to the computerisation of the Bank's accounting system, Small Heath branch posted the transactions of its Depositors using ledger cards and accounting machines. As an anti-fraud measure, each ledger card was uniquely numbered. The Branch Record Book was used to note these unique numbers when new cards were delivered to the branch as part of its half-yearly stationery order.
Ledger Cards were of three types:
Cards were colour-coded for the different Savings Departments. The entry for December 29th 1966 shows that Small Heath received 400 cards for the No 3 (Investment) Department that was introduced as a new product on January 1st 1967.
(see Numbering of Accounts)
The number of Credit Transfers paid over Bank counters was recorded on a daily basis, and the annual total for all branches was reported in the Annual Accounts.
In this 1966 period, Small Heath was averaging over 550 Credit Transfer transactions each month.
(see Credit Transfers & Standing Orders)
During each Financial Year, branches were required to balance their record of depositors' account balances. These account records were grouped into ledgers, in the case of Small Heath in 1966/67, eighteen ledgers:
Small Heath's Branch Record Book shows that the ledgers were balanced four times each year, usually in July, October, February, and March. The last two balancing exercises were done towards the end of the Financial Year at March 31st - at which date, the ledgers were balanced again.
This section of the Record Book also shows that since Small Heath branch was opened in 1919, approximately 75,000 savings accounts had been opened.                             (see 'All By Hand!')
            HEAD OFFICE
Plastic Pass Book covers were re-introduced in 1963, and were sold to depositors for 6d. The 'Small' size was designed to hold a Savings Account passbook, and a larger size (see example below) could hold a House Purchase Account passbook.
(see General Instructions to Branches - No 74)
Other Subjects originally recorded in the Branch Record Book were:
Details of Mortgage Accounts in arrears, including date reported to Head Office.
List (showing Account Number; Date; Title of Account) of Society Accounts where an amendment had been made to the Authority Mandate governing the operation of the account. This listing enabled visiting Branch Inspectors to examine the amendment and ensure that the changes made were valid.
A record of the visits made by George Shaw (Electrical Sanitary) Ltd of Alum Rock Road, Birmingham 8, the contractors employed by the Bank to maintain branch light fittings.
Marriage was the most common reason requiring a 'change of name', although the title of an account could also be changed by Deed Poll. This record enabled a Branch Inspector to review the correctness of these amendments.
Continued .... Items added to the Branch Record Book after the original 12 subjects detailed above
The procedure for dealing with the Purchase and Sale of Stocks and Shares
was specified in General Instructions to Branches - No 76