30 JANUARY 1942, Page 20



Inc view of existing conditions, and in place of his usual annual address, the following statement has been circulated by Mr. G. P. Dewhurst, chairman of Williams Deacon's Bank, Limited, to the shareholders of the bank in advance off the annual general meeting held on January 29th, 1942.

Turning now to the balance sheet and statement of accounts, we have, in common with all other banks, to report a very considerable

expansion in our current, deposit and other accounts, with a in increase in the amounts lent to the Government n .ffie form of Treasury deposit receipts and subscriptions to their various bond issues ; our increased -resources have thus promptly been made

available to the Treasury, though the revenue therefrom has been largely discounted by a reduction in our advances to customers, heavier taxation, increased overhead charges, and special war-time expenditure.

The actual figure of the bank's deposits appears at £62,314,800, which is an increase of nearly 11§ million, or 22 per cent. in excess of last year.

On the asset side of the sheet, Treasury deposit receipts now amount to 131 million, whith is an increase of 8 million on the year, and these, together with our cash, balances with other banks, money at call and bills discounted, constitute a total of £32,502,300, or over 52 per cent. of our deposits. The other important feature to note here is an addition of over five millions to our investments, which now stand at £20,060,812. Advances show the relatively small decrease of £540,000 on last year's totals, for while the usual trade demands for accommodation have obviously been reduced, every pos- sible assistance has been given to applications from customers engaged on Government or vital war work. Bank premises account has bene- fited to the full amount of the year's allocation from profits, and now stands at L957,000.

Turning now to the figures of profit and loss, the net profit for the period covered by the accounts, after making the usual provisions, has been declared this time after deduction of tax On dividends payable to our shareholders. Our figure of profit therefore emerges at £184,169 19s., which on the face of it shows a reduction of £8,893 compared with the previous year's profit adjusted to the new basis. On the other hand, allowing for the fact that the tax deducted from shareholders' dividend was more this time, the strictly comparable figure of profit would show a slight increase, a result with which we have every reason to be satisfied, considering increased taxation, expenditure on salaries to those in the Services and to our temporary

staff, war-t;me allowances, and War Damage Insurance. This profit, with the balance of £148.423 12s. 3d. brought forward from last year, gives us a total of £332,593 Its: 3d. now to be dealt with.

After transferring £3o.00o to bank premises account, and f too,000 to reserve fund, we are in a position to pay a dividend at the rate

of 121 per cent. on both our " A " and " B " shares, and carry forward to next year's accounts L85,406 Is. 3d. as against

£148,423 I2S. 3d. brought in. -

An interesting innovation has recently been suggested to the banks by the Board of Trade for facilitating the handling of clothing coupons. At present every coupon deposited by the public with the retailer has to be passed back through the various processing trades until it ultimately reaches the original producer, and it is to short-circuit these channels that the banks are to be asked to open a separate coupon account for every trader concerned, the currency being in coupons instead of pounds, and these coupons will only pass once from the retailer to his bank. If we realise the number of coupons involved, and the vast amount of work entailed in handling them, the scheme has much to recommend it, but we cannot ignore the fact that it will ',lace considerable further work on bank staffs, which, I am afraid, can only be regarded as one of the many extra duties incidental to the war.

With regard to our staff, we now have nearly .soo members serving with H.M. Forces in various branches of the Services, and some 6o more are waiting to go by arrangement already made with the Ministry of Labour, and I much regret to have to reoort the following casualties, namely, one killed, one missing and three prisoners of war. To their relations and friends we take this oppor- tunity of offering our sincerest sympathy. To meet the gaps caused by these withdrawals in our personnel. beside closing a number of branch offices, a large temporary staff has been engaged, and to these. and to our permanent staff alike, we would wish to express our best thanks and keen appreciation of the splendid manner in which they have nerfonned their duties in the bank, and, what is more. have willirttly devoted their mare time to the various forms of civil defence. And finally, to our general manager. Mr. Thomson, the assistant general managers, and other officials of the bank, our special thanks are due for the extremely efficient manner in which they have dischapred the dunes and responsibilities of their respective positions in these anxious times.