Issued on behalf of 18 AUG 1961
Martins Bank Limited,
With the compliments of
Editorial Information Services,
(Osborne-Peacock Co, Ltd.),
26a, Albemarle Street,
(Telephone: HYDe Park 4080)
ANNOUNCEMENT BY MARTINS BANK LIMITED
Martins Bank Limited announce that an electronic computer is now in use in their premises for the processing of customers' current accounts. The period of operating the computer in parallel with normal Branch work is over and both Branch and customers are now dependent on the computer for their records. This is the natural result of some eighteen months practical experience in computer operation during which time the Bank's own research staff have operated the equipment in the Ferranti computer centre in London. The London exercise was closed down some months ago, all work being transferred to the Bank's own Pegasus II computer in Liverpool. An ambitious programme to extend the application of computer systems to other branches of the Bank and also to specialist departments of the Bank is being launched.
In February, 1960 Martins Bank Limited made known the satisfactory results of a complete current account operation developed by their research staff in conjunction with Ferranti and carried out on a Pegasus I electronic computer. The system was demonstrated to the Press and other interested bodies. As a result of their experiences the Bank ordered a Pegasus II computer for installation in Liverpool. This was due for delivery in February, but was delayed due to strikes by employees of sub-contractors of the manufacturers. The computer was, in fact, installed by May.
The computer programme used for the exercise proved to be effective but nevertheless an expanded Bank research team has re-written it completely in the light of the practical experience of this first version and in order to take advantage of the improved features of the later version of the computer. It is the resulting new programme which is now in operation in Liverpool.
The system is based on the production by branches of punched paper tape detailing entries to be passed to the accounts. The features of the adding machines which produce the paper tape have been developed to provide automatic safeguards against errors in operation. Cheque books are being "personalised" before issue to customers.
The Computer Centre
In the computer centre, in addition to the computer room itself, there is a separate "print-out room" in which three Flexowriters (shortly to be extended to five) are provided. These machines automatically tabulate across the page to the appropriate position for each item of print under the control of the paper tape previously punched out by the computer on a Creed 3000 high speed punch operating at 300 digits per second. These machines also automatically seek the correct position to start printing on each of the statements fed continuously to the machines. Provision is made in the computer room for a line printer already on order and due for delivery towards the end of the year. In addition, offices are provided to deal with incoming and outgoing documents and paper tape, for programmers working on new systems and for administration. A staff rest room is also available.
The Bank is proceeding with a programme to extend the operation to the keeping of accounts for other branches in Liverpool and is already preparing schemes to bring to the computer a variety of work from various departments, amongst which are included Registrar and Trustee departments and still more projects are already in mind.
The purpose of the computer is to reduce the amount of manual work needed in bank work and to relieve staff of the monotony that in the past has been characteristic of much of bank routine. Nevertheless redundancy is not expected. The natural wastage of staff performing routine work will permit numbers employed to be reduced if necessary. However, experience indicates that the growth of business and extension into new fields tends to outweigh economies in staff effort due to improved systems with a result that staff numbers do not decrease, but instead the same size of staff is needed for the greater amount of work to be done. As a result the tasks to be performed are more varied, and the opportunities for staff advancement considerably increased.
The Bank has an ambitious programme of extension of automation before it already. There will certainly be the need for a second computer in London and studies are now being conducted to this end. There may well be the need for still more centres, each with a computer. However, if the present promise of effective methods of data transmission comes to fruition it may prove to be better to have few computer centres each operating over a wide area via data transmission links. Accordingly the Bank is taking an active interest in data transmission systems.
The system now in operation still depends on the manual operation of an adding machine producing paper tape, but the Bank is actively engaged in developing the means for automatic input by machines capable of reading for themselves. The Bank is playing its full part in the work of the Clearing Banks in developing a code or "language" for automatic reading. It has already on order IBM "Reader/Sorters" capable of handling paper cheques and other vouchers, reading from them information printed in special characters, sorting them in accordance with such information and feeding the data as read to electronic devices such as a computer. The first of these machines is expected to be delivered to the Bank in October this year.
Photographs available from Editorial Information Services, Osborne-Peacock Co. Ltd., 26a, Albemarle Street, London, W.I.
All press enquiries to be made direct to Mr, R. Hindle,
The Manager of Organisation Research and Development, Martins
Bank Limited, P.O. Box No. 107, Liverpool, 2.
(Telephone: CENTRAL 5428)
© gut informiert 2007 to date