NEW SYSTEM OF MAKING DEPOSITS AND WITHDRAWALS
During the year steps have been taken to secure greater privacy at the counter and to avoid depositors moving from one position to another. The deposit slip system introduced during the year has worked very well, and appears to have given general satisfaction to depositors. The provision of window recess desks and partitions in private offices at Daily Branches, and as many Evening Branches as possible, has been appreciated.
This item appears to indicate that the original system was abandoned in 1926 and that the depositor was now required to complete a Deposit Slip showing how much was to be paid into a specific account. (NOTE: the Regulations remained unchanged, although later versions required that 'Two or more officers of the Bank shall deal .......' and it was deemed that the Bank's system of a transaction being dealt with by a cashier, a posting clerk, and a checking clerk, covered this requirement.)
The following is an example of an early Deposit Slip, though it is not known if this was the exact design introduced in 1926.
The General Manager has obtained information from the various Branches of the Bank as to the effect produced on the work of the Bank by abolishing receipts for sums under £2, with a view to considering whether it was desirable that the present limit should be maintained, or whether it should be altered to £1.
The figures, so far as the Daily Branches and Head Office are concerned, show that 27.3 per cent of the total receipts are for sums not exceeding £1, and 12.8 per cent in respect of sums between £1 and £2. Having regard to these figures, the General Manager is of opinion that the arrangements already in force should continue so far as Daily Branches are concerned.
The General Manager has had all the Branch Managers before him and emphasised the necessity of taking every care to find out that the right party is withdrawing the money, and he thinks, as a result of his conversation with them, that such care will be exercised.
There has been one case in which a payment was alleged to have been made to a wrong party, but the General Manager's interviews with the parties concerned clearly proved it was a family matter, and the difficulty has been satisfactorily settled between the parties involved.
So far as the Branches are concerned which are only opened during evening hours, with the exception of Hay Mills, the General Manager feels that it would be advisable to obtain receipts for every payment made. In his opinion there is sufficient time to take the receipts at these evening branches and, as the officials in charge are not permanent Staff, there is a liability to slackness which does not occur with the permanent Staff, and it may be that claims may arise in connection with these Branches.
SUPERVISION OF BRANCHES
The investigation made by the General Manager into the recent case of forged signatures at Rotton Park Branch, indicate that a closer oversight of Branches is desirable.
While it must not be thought that any system or oversight will prevent a forgery, and certainly not a carefully planned forgery like the one under notice, there are certain steps which might be taken to tighten up the control and oversight.
In the first place there is the pay bearer form itself. This form is the same as used in all Savings Banks, and is extensively used here as elsewhere. Immediately the General Manager heard of the case he stopped further issue of the forms except on his express authority until it had been considered whether the form can be strengthened. This action has held good until today, but considerable displeasure is being caused and a definite decision as to re-issue must be given. From the evidence of the Branch Managers it is very clear that the form is popular, it is very convenient and is greatly appreciated, and fear is expressed at its possible withdrawal. From personal enquiries and talks with depositors who habitually use the form the General Manager is satisfied that the form or its equivalent must continue in circulation, and while reasonable care should be taken in issuing same, it will not do to be too inquisitive as to why it is wanted. The General Manager has conferred with the Town Clerk on the matter. It appears that the introduction of additional words or the alteration of existing words would not affect the matter in a case of forgery, nor remove the liability of the Bank. The General Manager, therefore, recommends the re-issue of the form as it is and that the Branch Managers be told to exercise care in dealing with same.
In the second place, the General Manager suspended as a precautionary measure the operation of the instruction whereby sums under £2 can be obtained without giving receipts. The forgery case shows that had the woman been clever enough she could have operated the account without giving any receipts. The practice of not giving any receipts for sums under £2 paid out was approved as a result of a visit to Scotland where the practice is generally followed, the production of the pass book being accepted as good evidence of the right to withdraw. It was instituted to ease the work and not at the request or demand of depositors. It has frequently been referred to by depositors as dangerous, and many depositors continue to give receipts for sums under £2. The General Manager has obtained a return from each Branch of the numbers dealt with in this matter on the different days of the week during the month of April. As this period includes Easter withdrawals the return may be regarded as a "peak" return and that the ordinary months would have less transactions. Copy of the Return is submitted. While it cannot be overlooked that the handling and comparison of signatures of 7000 cases in a month will impose extra work, it must be set against the risk taken by not having signatures.
The matter is entirely one for the Committee to determine, but on the facts presented it would appear that an increase in some Branch staffs is inevitable if receipts are to be taken.
On the general question the General Manager feels that some examination of signatures other than that of the Branch Officers should take place. It would be a precaution against continual withdrawals as in the case under notice.
|WITHDRAWALS UNDER £2 - April 1st to 30th 1924|
|Sparkhill was later renamed Springfield|