Annual Balance
This extracted list formed the focus of each branch's efforts at each Annual Balance. The lists would be based on each of the branch's ledgers with 50 accounts making a standard list. A ledger containing 335 accounts, therefore, would be summarised on six lists of 50 accounts, and one of 35 - this would enable the lists to balanced to the ledger's total. Each list would show for each individual account: the account number; the newly capitalised balance; and the amount of interest capitalised. Whilst at 'machine branches' these lists (including totals) would be produced on their accounting machines, at 'hand branches' the lists were produced manually.
Totalling the manual lists, though, was completed by comptometer operators, who were hired for the purpose. Only a branch with a very large number of manual accounts would have their own hired operator. The majority of manual branches shared an operator, either by grouping two or more branches together, or by processing the work in Head Office. Utilising the space available in the Assembly Room, spare offices, and corridors of Head Office, the smaller manual branches produced their extracted lists for totalling by a number of comptometer operators.
The system described above existed from the commencement of the Bank until the manual bound ledgers were replaced by individual ledger cards in the 1960s. By this date, electric-powered adding machines were allocated to each branch - these were used to produce the extracted lists more expeditiously.
The total of the branch's extracted lists having been agreed to their records, the branch manager completed an annual return. This return reconciled the newly capitalised total amount of depositors' accounts with the movements (deposits; withdrawals; transfers; interest credited; etc) on those accounts throughout the financial year.
The critical figure on these annual returns, in relation to the completion of the Bank's Balance Sheet, was the amount of capitalised interest - all the other figures on the branch returns having already been advised to the Accounts Department via the monthly returns. The Bank's total amount of Capitalised Interest having been ascertained, a journal entry would be passed to debit the interest charge to the Income & Expenditure Account, and credit the corresponding liability to the Amount Standing to the Credit of Depositors in the Balance Sheet.
House Purchase Department
The Annual Balance had a much smaller impact for a branch in relation to its House Purchase accounts. Not only were there far fewer of such accounts compared with Savings Accounts, but the capitalisation of interest charged was mainly done on a monthly basis. An annual return to Head Office was still required, however, in order that the amount of interest earned on the Bank's total advances could be ascertained.
Overtime Payments to Staff
The huge clerical effort required to complete each year's Annual Balance, was only completed due to the staff working long hours in the period covering the end of March and the beginning of April. In the early years of the Bank, this effort was rewarded with the grant of a lump sum made by the Committee of Management. From 1947, national Local Government rules relating to overtime were introduced. Details are given at Annual Balance 1947 - Overtime Payments
This type of calendar was a fixture in all branches
Depositors' Department
Prior to the computerisation of the Bank's accounting system in the early 1970s, the completion of the year-end routines at each March 31st ("the Annual Balance") was a major, labour intensive exercise. Every member of staff was involved in a set of procedures that included capitalising the interest on each individual savings account, and calculating the next year's interest due on the newly capitalised accounts - procedures that eventually led to the production of the Bank's published Balance Sheet. These two procedures were conducted at branch level, involving the processing in many years of over 500,000 individual accounts.
This article provides an overview of those branch procedures
The majority of branches maintained the records of their depositors' accounts in ledgers to which transactions were posted, checked, and balanced manually (see Branch Accounting). Branches with larger numbers of accounts had the benefit of accounting machines for these routines.
For all branches, however, the Annual Balance was both the culmination of the work of the previous twelve months, and a test of the staff's ability to process accurately thousands of accounts by a specified deadline. To enable this huge volume of work to be completed, all branches of the Bank were closed on March 31st each year that that date fell on a normal working day. As described by Norman Worwood in All by Hand!, each branch manager approached the end of March attempting to put their branch in the best possible position.
The Bank's Regulations required that the auditors shall examine an extracted list of depositors' balances made up every year. A book containing such extracted list of every depositors' balance, omitting the name but giving the distinctive number and separate amount of each, and showing the aggregate number and amount of the whole, checked and certified by such auditor or auditors, shall be open at all times during the hours of business for the inspection of any depositor respecting his own account.
The form used by staff at 'hand branches' to produce the extracted list of depositors' balances was given the reference MB 74. The example (right) shows two sets of columns, each of which was completed for:
 - Account Number
 - Amount of Principal
 - Amount of Capitalised Interest
 - Total of Principal and Interest