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Travellers' Cheques and Foreign Currency
The BMB's Annual Report for 1965 contained the following statement in the section that listed the Bank's 'Facilities and Services':
 
TRAVELLERS' CHEQUES
Depositors going on holiday - at home or abroad - may safeguard their funds by taking with them Travellers' Cheques, obtainable from the Bank, and which can be cashed anywhere. Foreign Currency will also be issued if required.
 
The report section of the same document also referred to the introduction of this new service:
 
TRAVELLERS' CHEQUES AND FOREIGN CURRENCY
Arrangements have been made with Messrs. Thomas Cook & Son Ltd. whereby depositors may obtain Travellers' Cheques and Foreign Currency through the various Branches of the Bank.
 
The mid-1960s was the period when foreign package holidays were rapidly increasing. Their popularity was also contributing to the country's Balance of Payments deficit, and in 1966 an initial limit of 50 per person was imposed by the Government's Exchange Control Regulations (see illustration below), on the amount of foreign currency that could be purchased, either as part of the holiday package, or in actual cash. (The Exchange Control Act 1947 was removed from the statute book on October 24th 1979).

The arrangement that the Bank made with Thos. Cook was for their travel shop in New Street, Birmingham to supply their own-branded Travellers' Cheques, plus foreign currency. Depositors completed a multi-part form stating their requirements, and their branch forwarded this order to Head Office.

The orders were handled by the staff of Head Office branch (ie Banking Hall staff) who were responsible for physically transporting them to the Thos. Cook office. Here, the orders were made up from the stocks held by Thos. Cook, and then collected by Banking Hall staff. After checking, the orders were then forwarded to the relevant branch for collection by the customer. Commissions charged on the orders were split equally between Thos. Cook and the Bank.

Payment for individual orders was made by the branch debiting the depositor's account and crediting a Head Office Suspense Account. Head Office were responsible for reconciling the suspense account, and settling the amount due to Thos. Cook.

Statistics relating to the sale of Travellers' Cheques and
Foreign Currency were reported annually between 1966 and 1977:
 
 Amount
 Number
1966 
113,105
2,120
 1967
159,939
2,291
 1968
163,179
3,596
 1969
151,062
3,514
 1970
184,853
4,036
 1971
269,466
4,614
 1972
343,831
5,849
 1973
446,812
7,224
 1974
529,339
7,139
 1975
482,105
5,430
 1976
675,859
6,455
 1976 *
568,965
4,626
 1980
732,635
5,482
 
 
 
 
4,821,150
62,376
 
* April 1st to November 20th
Under the Regulations imposed by the Exchange Control Act, 1947, the Bank was required to enter the amount of foreign currency supplied to a customer on the relevant
Passport page (below)
 
Statistics