Deposit Slips and Withdrawal Receipts
The 1919 Rules and Regulations of the Bank required that 'Two or more officers of the Bank shall be parties to every transaction of the depositor, so as to form a double check on every such transaction'. Early passbooks used by the Bank appear to cater for this requirement by having two columns for officers' initials to be placed alongside each transaction - these columns being headed 'C' for Cashier and 'L' for Ledger Clerk. This cumbersome system, with the passbook (and depositor) being passed between the two officers, was transacted without the customer completing either a Deposit Slip or (in many cases) a Withdrawal Receipt.
In his report to the General Purposes Sub-Committee dated February 14th 1927, the General Manager includes an item regarding this system:


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.



An earlier report by the General Manager (dated November 24th 1923) draws the attention of the Bank's Committee of Management to the position regarding withdrawals for sums below £2:

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.


At Hay Mills, the proportion of receipts for amounts under £1 is 40 per cent, and as this involves a serious amount of the time, the General Manager thinks that this Branch should be dealt with as the Daily Branches are, and particularly so as the official in charge is a permanent member of the Staff.
This report suggests that not obtaining receipts for withdrawals under £2 has been tried as an experiment in order to save time processing such transactions. The extra time involved in processing withdrawals would have arisen from the requirement to compare the depositor's signature with the Bank records, and probably because it was the practice for the cashier to complete a withdrawal receipt on behalf of the depositor and then obtain a signature on the receipt. As some 40% of withdrawals are below £2 the General Manager recommends that the experiment continues, although no reference is made to the Bank thus not having a receipt as proof that payment was made to the correct person, should a dispute arise. Only passing reference is made to the possibilities of forged withdrawals occurring without a signature check, the inference being that the possession of the passbook is sufficient proof.
The General Manager recommends, however, that (except for Hay Mills) receipts be obtained at all Evening Branches; here, the branches were manned by non-permanent staff - generally these were staff from other Corporation Departments employed on a temporary basis.
The question of whether it is satisfactory for the Bank to make payments without a suitable proof that payment has been made to the correct person arises again following a case of forged withdrawals at Rotton Park branch as detailed in a report by the General Manager dated May 10th 1924:


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
Mon Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sat Total
Day Evening         Day Evening  
Head Office 103 58 219 206 106 118 101 51 962
Aston 56 72 153 105 36 54 69 73 618
Aston Cross 36 53 121 72 30 34 37 52 435
Balsall Heath 26 50 85 71 39 23 41 60 395
Bearwood 16 24 40 26 6 9 24 19 164
Duddeston 33 59 134 74 29 50 58 83 520
Erdington 15 22 33 27 13 12 7 23 152
Handsworth 23 32 56 44 17 17 29 43 261
Harborne 5 10 16 13 4 4 11 15 78
Hockley 9 16 20 25 9 11 13 20 123
Kings Heath 22 24 42 37 28 25 22 30 230
Ladywood 25 45 121 71 37 27 38 76 440
Lozells 29 39 59 51 28 25 34 31 296
Rotton Park 25 47 97 63 26 27 42 47 374
Saltley 20 28 77 40 22 10 25 47 269
Selly Oak 17 22 49 30 20 18 18 25 199
Small Heath 38 81 139 118 37 41 61 61 576
Sparkbrook 41 77 172 106 34 71 88 91 680
Sparkhill 9 16 36 26 13 12 17 20 149
Stirchley 6 16 29 21 18 11 21 16 138
554 791 1698 1226 552 599 756 883 7059
Sparkhill was later renamed Springfield
This second report, coming less than six months after the first, is primarily concerned with:
(1)  the use of 'pay bearer forms' (later to be known as an 'AUTHORITY FOR PAYMENT TO A THIRD PARTY' form, or more quolocially as a 'Third Party Form') and;
(2) the supervision of branch practices.
The ability of a depositor to have a representative attend at the Bank to withdraw cash was much appreciated, and thus enabled withdrawals to be made when the depositor was unable to go to the branch personally. However, with the increased potential for fraudulent withdrawals using such a form, they were not made freely available in the branch but had to be requested on each occasion it was required. This lack of ready availability contrasted with normal withdrawal forms (MB13) which were freely available, as were deposit slips (MB 143). It was often tempting, therefore, for a depositor to just use a normal withdrawal form instead of a 'third party form' - but such misuse was easily spotted in cases where a female presented the passbook of a male depositor. Later versions of the withdrawal form were marked 'NOT TO BE TAKEN AWAY' in an attempt to discourage this practice.
The outcome of this May 1924 report appears to be the continuing use of 'third party forms' and the reinstatement of the requirement for a receipt for all withdrawals, whether under £2 or not.
And, following the 'Crump Affair' it was a requirement of the Bank that all withdrawal receipts be completed by the depositor personally - in cases where this was not possible and the receipt was made out by a Bank officer, a second officer was required to be involved and counter initial the form.
A further outcome of this May 1924 report appears to be the setting up of a system of Branch Inspection in order to implement the General Manager's recommendation  that some examination of signatures other than that of the Branch Officers should take place.
And, presumably, more staff were recruited to handle a procedure that required a signature to be verified on all withdrawals.
Branch Instruction 4 (f):
Receipt form MB20B is for use when a depositor is unable to attend personally and care should be taken is issuing these forms. Enquiry should be made of the amount required in case notice of withdrawal is necessary. When these forms are presented for payment the signature of the depositor should be verified by two officers. In cases where these forms are continuously used, steps should be taken, if necessary, to obtain confirmation of the balance of the account in writing. It is not desirable that the witness to the signature of a depositor should also be the authorised party to receive payment.