Aston Branch - the First 100 Accounts
In anticipation of the opening of the Birmingham Municipal Bank (BMB) on September 1st 1919, the Manager (J P Hilton) of
its predecessor (the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank
) (BCSB) wrote to all depositors with a balance exceeding One Shilling, inviting
them to transfer their accounts to the new Bank
. A form was provided for the depositor to indicate at which of eighteen offices
they wished to have their account located. In the period up to March 1920, 750 accounts were transferred to Aston branch
, which was
initially worked from the old Aston Council House in Albert Road. Many of the transfer requests were received prior to September 1st
1919, and accordingly, the account details were entered in the branch's Personal Ledger in anticipation of that opening date. Of the
21,482 accounts transferred from the BCSB to the BMB by March 31st 1920, Aston branch's total of 750 was only exceeded by Head Office;
Sparkbrook; and Small Heath. The balances on the 750 accounts amounted to £17,096.
An example of one of the accounts processed in this manner is that in the name of Wallace Stanley Smith. The balance held in BCSB
account number 280 (left) was £128 - 0s. - 3d.
Mr Smith having chosen to transfer the balance to Aston branch, account number
A68 was allocated with this balance (right). The Interest column total (the amount that will be capitalised at March 31st 1920 if
there are no further transactions in the meantime) has also been transferred, but rounded to £2 - 6s. - 0d., as the BMB did not follow
the BCSB's practice of calculating interest to a decimal place.
Although both Bank's were paying interest at 3½%, it was necessary
for Account Number 68 to have £2 - 4s. - 9d. added to the Interest column because interest at BCSB was capitalised half-yearly
(September 30th and March 31st).
All the 100 accounts initially opened at Aston were headed in the same neat hand. For reference, the corresponding BCSB account
number has been noted.
Unfortunately, the clerk has made an error, requiring the pre-printed account number to be amended. A
corresponding error was made in the next numbered account (see Continuation Page
Account No: 3
The account number has been struck through. This indicates an account that has been
subsequently closed, the crossing out saving a clerk from having to check for a balance when (eg) listing accounts for the year-end
Account No: 15
The BCSB cross-reference on this account is unusual in having a 'C' prefix. This indicates that
the depositor was a Corporation employee
who was probably serving in the Forces during the First World War. Surprisingly, although
the depositor's first name is recorded in BCSB's records (above
it has not been transposed to the BMB ledger.
Mr Haynes shares
the same address as three members of the Ball family who have the next three accounts.
On November 1st 1920,
a new branch was opened at Aston Cross
, just a short distance from Aston branch. Subsequently, a number of Aston's accounts were transferred
to Aston Cross, including A/c Number 23:
Alice Gladen, whose account was transferred on March 15th 1921.
Account No: 8
(Mrs) Alice Hodson
This account was transferred from the BCSB's A/c number 34392 - the highest numbered account
in this block of the first 100 accounts.
J P Hilton's book, Britain's First Municipal Savings Bank, records that 24,411 depositors
were enrolled in the BCSB, suggesting that some 10,000 accounts had been opened and closed in the short existence of that Bank.
Account No: 35
James R Axon
This depositor was issued with Home Safe Number 1182. This Home Safe was amongst the first batch
of safes delivered to the BMB in late 1922.
Safe Number 1182 was issued to Aston branch on January 2nd 1923, as shown on Page
48 of the 'Home Safes Received and Distributed' book (left).
The Safe would probably have been issued to Mr Axon in January 1923.
Account No: 42
No home address is stated for this account (and A/c No 44), instead the ledger is annotated
in pencil "General Electric Co., Witton".
The form used to authorise the transfer of balances from the BCSB to the BMB did not
have provision for the depositors to state their address, so the addresses recorded will have been taken from BCSB's records. As BCSB's
system was based on Coupons purchased through a depositor's employer, it would appear that in some cases the only address recorded
by the BCSB was their employment address.
Account No: 47
On the first day of business
at Aston branch,
deposits totalled £42. 0s. 8d., and Repayments amounted to £5, which was a single transaction on this account.
Account No: 50
Another example of an account traceable to an account that originated at BCSB. A/c Number 1000 had a balance
of less than £1. Sixteen Shillings was deposited in four transactions later in the year, before the account was closed on December