31 JANUARY 1941, Page 24




MR. FREDERIC ALAN BATES, chairman, presiding at the i loth annual general meeting of Martins Bank, Limited, at Liverpool, on Tuesday, January 28th, said :

The main changes in the accounts are in the deposits Treasury

.,s deposit receipts, investments, and advances. Advances have been much reduced, offsetting the return upon largely increased deposits. Profits have been affected by heavy war-time expenses and increased taxation, but, notwithstanding, we have been able to show a small increase. At £891,029, they are some £15,000 more. A dividend of 71 per cent, paid in July it is proposed to repeat as a final dividend, again making 15 per cent, for the year. £10o,000 has been transferred to the staff pension fund, and in view of the difficult times ahead we have considered it prudent to place £I5o,000 to reserve for future contingencies. We have carried forward £347,772, being £17,023 more than last year.

The bank's liquid position is maintained. Cash in hand and at the Bank of England amounted to £14,317,000, that is 11.55 per cent. of our deposits, which at the record level of £123,313,000 are up by £12,893,000. Quick assets consisting of cash, money at call, balances with other banks, Treasury and other bills, and Treasury deposit receipts amount to £41,267,000, being 33.29 per cent, of our deposits. Further, the bank's short-term investments amount to £l1,006,000.

We are taking a full share in financing the country's war require- ments. Investments stand at £45,628,000, an increase of £11,456,000. This increase, with our holdings of Treasury bills and deposit receipts, represents funds lent to the Government during last year. Our total holding of British Government securities, including Treasury bills and deposit receipts, is £53473,000, a large percentage (actually 43 per cent.) of our deposits. In addition, a considerable part of our advances is given directly in connection with the production of war material. This is typical of what all the banks are doing in furtherance of the war effort.

Advances show a decrease of ,C7,767,000, for reasons of which you are aware. The banks are eager to lend money, and are in a sound position to do so when the return to peace enables them to resume their normal functions.

My closing words will be in appreciation of our staff in discharging their duties in very trying circumstances. The arrangements made at the outset of the war with such care to meet casualties among our offices and to avoid interruption of banking service to the public have worked admirably. This reflects the greatest credit on executive officers and staff, clerical and manual, of all ranks, but it will not be regarded as invidious if I make special mention of the lady members of the staff for the way they have devoted themselves to their duties, particularly in London and our other large centres which have suffered from bombardment. Our fire watchers and the staff who look after our premises have worked untiringly. I have recently visited a number of our branches in areas which have had to meet bomb'ng attacks and am proud to say that everywhere I • found the spirit of the staff excellent.

We have now 607 members in the forces. We wish them a safe return, and promise them a warm welcome when they come back to their duties in the bank at the conclusion of a victorious peace.

The report was adopted.