Birmingham Municipal Bank
Depositors' Ledger
Aston Cross Branch
Depositors' Department
Aston Cross was opened as a Daily Branch on November 1st 1920 - the Bank's 23rd office. Presumably the design of the Ledgers used to record Depositors' transactions was the same as that used for all the branches opened since the Bank commenced business on September 1st 1919. That design was a development of the content and layout used by the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank (BCSB). This page illustrates various aspects of the Bank's working and accounting systems by reproducing examples from the Ledger containing the first 2,000 Accounts opened at Aston Cross branch. Those 2,000 Accounts were opened in the 24-month period November 1st 1920 to November 11th 1922 - 458 Accounts being opened in the first three months, and about 1,100 in the first twelve months. The amount of monthly Deposits and Payments over this period are shown in the table below:
Deposits Payments
£ £
1920 NOV 2,245 178
DEC 1,624 320
1921 JAN 2,832 557
FEB 2,565 470
MAR 2,216 826
APR 2,494 917
MAY 2,079 1,186
JUN 1,926 1,430
JLY 2,228 2,688
AUG 1,579 1,088
SEP 1,902 836
OCT 3,110 726
NOV 1,920 1,310
DEC 3,534 2,454
1922 JAN 2,110 1,140
FEB 2,177 729
MAR 2,889 1,211
APR 2,703 1,479
MAY 2,217 1,861
JUN 2,925 1,541
JLY 2,785 4,029
AUG 2,384 2,147
SEP 4,270 1,057
OCT 4,348 1,768
NOV 3,537 1,657
The Total Deposit Balances over this period were:
March 31st 1921 - £14,942
July 30th 1921 - £19,544
March 31st 1922 - £29,319
November 30th 1922 - £39,529
The format of the Ledger was five columns per page. On the left-hand pages, all five columns were pre-numbered. On the right-hand page, three columns were pre-numbered and the remaining two columns were unnumbered to allow for use as 'Continuation' columns when a pre-numbered column was filled with transactions. This was an amendment from the layout used by BCSB where unnumbered spare columns were at the rear of the Ledger, resulting in time consuming effort to find an account's current balance.
As with the BCSB Ledger, each Account column was divided into four sub-columns. The four sub-columns in a BCSB Ledger were headed:
Date    /    Folio   /    £sd   /    Interest £sd
The Aston Cross Ledger uses the same headings except that the 'Folio' column was blank.
(left): notation used when an Account column was full
(below): the first three Accounts opened at Aston Cross branch on November 1st 1920:
(1) Alfred Yates - £15
(2) Rosamund A E Allison - £1 - 10s - 0d
(3) Annie Allison - £5
(The heading for this Account shows that Home Safe Number 105 was issued to the Depositor)
(above): Account No: 106 is a 'Society Account' (ie an account not in the name(s) of an individual) in the name of 'Coleshill 2nd Scout Troop'. The account was transferred from Head Office (where Society Account numbers were prefixed with an 'X'). A Duplicate Passbook has been issued to replace one reported as lost.
(right): on this page the two columns without pre-printed numbers have been utilised as Continuation columns for Accounts numbered 7 and 5.
(left): After the Annual Balance of March 31st 1924, all the accounts in the Ledger have been transferred to a New Ledger and a rubber stamp has been used to signify this action. The use of the rubber stamp has been used throughout the Ledger - even where an account has been closed and there is no balance to transfer to the new ledger. The new ledger was the introduction of loose-leaf ledgers where a leaf was used for each account. The leaves were bound together in a book with hard plastic covers. A full leaf was replaced with a new sheet by loosening the binding with a key inserted into the edge of the plastic cover - a winding action loosening the binding. The full sheet was then placed in a ledger that also held the pages for closed accounts. This flexible system overcame the problems of the original system, and also had full details and the signature of the depositor on the ledger sheet.
(left): Following marriage, the depositor's name has been amended. The date of marriage seems to have been noted, but the normal requirement would be to record fuller details of the marriage by registering details from the Marriage Certificate.
(right): When an account was transferred to another branch, interest was not capitalised as in the case of a closed account, but details of both the balance and interest are forwarded to the new branch.
(left): Joint Accounts were marked with an appropriate rubber stamp and "either sign" has been written to indicate that withdrawals can be made on just one signature. Most Joint Accounts in the ledger have no reference to the signature requirement suggesting that both signatures was the usual choice of the depositors. Each Joint Account in the ledger has a numeric reference written in red ink - probably indicating where the signature mandate was filed. In later years, the filing of mandates (MB2 or MB130) was done by Account Number.
(right): Note made in red ink recording the production of an 'Order in Lunacy' that appointed Charles Andrews Jnr as Receiver.
(left): Two examples of very regular savings of small amounts - one depositor making deposits of 2/6d, the other 3d.
(below): Three accounts opened on April 4th 1921. Each account is annotated "Exhib" indicating that the depositor was persuaded to open the account at a Bank stand at an exhibition - probably the exhibition held at Bingley Hall where a similar transaction was the subject of correspondence with Head Office. Two of the accounts are short lived, the third was transferred to Aston branch.
(left): An account opened at an Exhibition that proved more successful.
(below): Rubber stamp showing that the account had been examined by a member of staff of the Bank's Auditors.
(right): Pencil note indicating that no correspondence is to be sent to the depositor - a common request for a woman not wanting her husband to know of the existence of the account.