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Excess & Short Cash
 
Miscellaneous
 
Year ended
December 31st 
Amount of
Excesses 
-s-d
Number of
Excesses 
 Amount of
Shortages
-s-d
Number of
Shortages 
1937 
85-7-5
279
87-9-6
270
1938 
84-14-0
286
117-18-10
326
1939 
111-1-1
405
116-0-3
398
1940 
204-16-2
490
192-13-8
567
1941
297-17-0
654
290-10-1
672
1942 
312-2-11
 
308-14-0
 
1945 
266-7-8
 
493-14-1
 
1946
226-19-11
 
279-1-9
 
1947
229-6-11
 
299-5-9
 
1948
227-8-6
 
278-5-11
 
The Bank's archives contain copies of reports to the Committee of Management (for 10 years in the period 1937 to 1948) on the subject of Cash Differences. These reports were entitled 'Excess & Short Cash'. For the five years 1937 to 1941, both the total amounts of Excesses and Shortages, plus the number of cash differences were reported. The reports of the later years shown only the amounts of the cash differences.
As described in Branch Accounting, amounts of individual cash errors were reported to Head Office by letter, and the amount of the error was debited or credited to Head Office Account No X305. It was the Bank's practice to annually write off the amount of shortages to General Expenditure. The amount of excesses was retained in Account X305 as a liability of the Bank to customers that could, theoretically, be claimed. However, in later years, when the liability had grown to a substantial sum, shortages were charged against that liability.
 
Occasionally, the amount written off to General Expenditure was increased to cover amounts lost through forgeries. In 1947, two forgeries cost the Bank 230, and in 1948 a further two instances amounted to 45-10s-0d. In 1927, a 20 shortage occurred at Duddeston branch - a very substantial sum at that time, resulting in a report to the Management Committee (see below).
 
The Year Ended December 31st 1941 incurred a total of 1,326 cash differences reported - a larger number than previous years due to the high number of inexperienced staff being employed during the Second World War. However, in that period the number of transactions handled were about 3,000,000 - meaning that the error rate was only about 0.04%.
 
Included in the report to the Committee of Management for 1938, was an analysis by branch:
                             
      Excess Cash           Short Cash      
     
  s d   No   s d   No  
  Head Office 7 9 3 23   5 6 9 20  
  Acocks Green 1 3 4 10   2 4 4 9  
  Alum Rock 1 5 5   19 8 15  
  Aston 1 1 8 15   4 6 3 12  
  Aston Cross 1 14 6 8   3 18 6 19  
  Balsall Heath 2 0 0 3   4 13 0 8  
  Bearwood 1 11 9 10   2 8 6  
  Billesley 1 2 0 2   1 10 10 3  
  Birchfield 1 12 4 5   3 17 9 8  
  Bordesley Green 12 10 3   2 1 9 5  
  Brandwood 1 15 6 6   1 3 3  
  Brookvale 3 0 5   2 12 9 7  
  Cotteridge 1 12 0 2   1 0 1  
  Duddeston 1 11 9 6   1 1 0 4  
  Erdington 21 13 0 6   25 2 0 9  
  Farcroft 10 6 2   10 0 1  
  Hall Green 19 6 13   5 6 3 13  
  Handsworth 3 18 11 15   4 6 5 18  
  Harborne 1 13 6 10   17 3 5  
  Hay Mills 2 2 2 4   1 0 2  
  Heybarnes   1 0 0 1  
  Hockley 1 3 0 3   2 11 3 5  
  Horse Fair 2 1 6 4   1 1 0 2  
  Kings Heath 11 3 3   3 13 6 7  
  Kingstanding 1 0 1   11 6 4  
  Ladywood 9 0 3   2 0 0 2  
  Little Bromwich 7 4 6   3 2  
  Longbridge   1 13 0 4  
  Lozells 2 1 11 5   3 3 0 5  
  Moseley 1 2 4 4   5 7 5  
  Nechells   2 0 0 1  
  Newtown Row 10 1 2   8 0 2  
  Northfield 13 0 2   12 1 4  
  Oldbury 1 9 4   11 0 3  
  Perry Common 1 0 3 2   3 9 5  
  Pype Hayes 1 2 3   7 6 3  
  Quinton 5 2 5   1 1  
  Rotton Park 1 12 0 3   1 3 0 4  
  Saltley 17 11 9   11 9 6  
  Sandwell 1 0 0 1    
  Selly Oak 1 0 5 3   1 14 9 3  
  Selly Park 12 0 2   3 10 1 6  
  Sherlock Street 1 6 2   1 12 0 3  
  Shirley   2 1 0 3  
  Short Heath 2 11 0 5   1 0 0 2  
  Small Heath 1 11 2 12   4 11 7  
  Solihull 7 2    
  Sparkbrook 10 0 1   4 13 7 12  
  Sparkhill 1 13 1 5   14 10 3  
  Springfield 7 0 6   1 13 3 6  
  Spring Hill 11 0 3   11 5 6  
  Stechford 2 0 3   1 2 10 5  
  Stirchley 1 0 9 3   1 3 3  
  Sutton Coldfield 2 2 3 5   3 3 3  
  Tower Hill 3 3 4   11 0 2  
  Ward End 2 13 9 9   1 7 3 6  
  Wells Green   1 3 2  
  Weoley Castle 2 0 2   1 0 1  
  Wheeler Street   1 12 9 4  
  Witton 1 0 1   6 1  
  Yardley 1 3 8 5   4 5 3 14  
     
  84 14 0 286   117 18 10 326  
                             
Cash Shortage at Duddeston Branch: 1927
 
At a meeting of the Bank's Finance Sub-Committee held on July 11th 1927, it was reported that a Cash Shortage had occurred at Duddeston branch on Saturday, June 18th. In the absence of the General Manager abroad, Mr Neal (of the Bank's Auditors) was requested to "conduct an enquiry into the circumstances".
 
A report under the name of the General Manager was presented to the meeting of the Finance Sub-Committee on October 10th 1927:
 
I have gone very fully into the question of the shortage of 20 which was reported at Duddeston Branch on the 18th June last, along with the Auditors, but regret to report that nothing has transpired to explain how the shortage occurred.
 
The investigations, however, point to slackness in the routine of the Branch which has been brought about, to a certain extent, by the conditions under which the Branch has had to be conducted for six months, owing to structural alterations. Temporary counters had to be installed and during the alterations the counters had to be moved into three different positions.
 
There are, however, one or two matters which I have found it necessary to take up severely with all the officers at this Branch, as in my judgement the non-observance of instructions laid down for the guidance of Branch Officers has made it impossible to locate the shortage.
 
Cash for several months has been transferred to Lloyds Bank each day for safe custody in a locked bag, except on Saturdays and Mondays when it has been collected and brought to Head Office for safe custody. The cash thus placed into safe custody was not re-counted when obtained the next day, and the desirable check was not taken. I do not wish to infer that the bag had been tampered with whilst in safe custody, but it would have fixed the shortage more definitely if a re-count of cash had taken place. Again, Mr Smith, the Branch Manager, has accepted cash from the cashiers without making a full check. For instance, he has taken for granted bundles of 1 Notes supposed to represent 100. On the evening in question (June 18th) the Head Office messenger (Mr Buxton) had handed to him packets of Notes said to total 355. Before leaving the Branch he counted the same and found the  total to be 335. The Branch Manager then counted same and agreed Mr Buxton's count. This produced the 20 shortage at the end of the day. It was impossible to say from which cashier the bundles had been taken, and as three cashiers handed money for transfer to Mr Smith, it cannot be said which cashier was 20 short.
 
The transactions that day do not give the slightest clue to a shortage of 20, and I am therefore forced to the conclusion that the shortage occurred before the 18th June.
 
A peculiar transaction took place on the 17th June, viz A person giving the name of Mrs Eden of 1 court, 4 house, Scholefield Street, opened an account and is credited with a 20 deposit. Application for production of the pass book proves that there is no such address and no Mrs Eden is known in Scholefield Street. Whether the 20 was actually paid or not is a matter of some doubt. The evidence is against the Bank, but the fact that a fictitious address was given and the woman has not yet been traced causes one to have some doubt as to the deposit.
 
Another point of importance is that at Duddeston shop-keepers frequently call for change - 5 Note for 5 silver, etc. No record is kept of these transactions and this makes it difficult to trace the movements in cash. I have thought it necessary to institute a special cash exchange slip, approved by the Auditors, to get over the difficulty in future.
 
I have no reason whatever to doubt the honesty of the officers at this Branch, and believe it is a genuine loss due to some mistake or carelessness. Neither is there a ground for suspicion that any depositor has extracted cash from the cash tills, or even from the counter during any counting process. But it may be that the case cited above has a bearing on the shortage, or it may be that change has been wrongly given or a deposit not accepted, or an excess withdrawal made.
 
A large number of pass books have been called in and examined by the Auditors, but without any result.
 
The shortage has very much upset the staff at the Branch, and I do not think any useful purpose can be arrived by further prolonging the investigations or giving any further reprimands. A careful look-out will be kept with a view to clearing up what is a mystery, and one which I hope will be solved eventually.
 
August 3rd 1927.
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