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Wanted: Industrious young men and intelligent girls…

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In an industry which regularly sees people retire after well over FORTY years of service, recruitment is still a serious business.  Martins Bank needs to replace hundreds of staff each year, those who have reached retirement, those who are made to leave as a consequence of getting married and,  sadly those who die in service.  

We have combined two of our feature pages into one and added some new detail, in order that we can look at the benefits of working for Martins, and at the efforts the Bank goes to offer what is described as “a career with BIG opportunities” for “the nicest people”.  By 1963 Martins is flying high, and with the major celebrations of the Bank’s four-hundredth anniversary in full swing, “…a career with Martins Bank” is launched – a twelve page recruitment booklet designed to attract school leavers. 



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A little further down this page we shall look in detail at this booklet, and see how it is clearly aimed at men, who at this point in the Bank’s history are still the “bread-winners” of families, and upon whom all manner of great training and other opportunities are lavished if the young man concerned fits the bill. First, we’ll go a little futher forwards in time to 1968, to look at two brand new leaflets – the last before Martins and Barclays merge.  We still see two very different people, the first is dynamic, go-getting and ripe for a fast-track system of promotions to the top of their game by the age of 32.  The second is offered a selection of jobs, from machine operator, to typist, cashier or secretary, and even the lofty height of computer operator.  The first is of course for men, and the second is for the ladies.  The weird thing is, the only things stopping women from becoming just as successful, were the men!  Equal pay has arrived at Martins, and at least for the first six or so years of employment, all genders are paid the same.  From then on, the divergence is astonishing, with a man earning the equivalent today of £46,500 by the age of 32, and a women earning £16,000!  History tells us of the continued struggles of women to be recognised as equals in the workplace, and even in the twenty-first century, the subject has not been put to bed.  See what YOU make of Peter Jackson, and “a girl” as we shall call her, as no one has given her a name…

Peter Jackson joined Martins Bank straight from school with a couple of good ‘A’ Levels and the sort of drive that would take him to the top in quite a few different types of business. Right from the start, he felt at home. The Manager took a keen interest in Peter’s progress, and arranged study leave for the all-important Banking Diploma. Very soon Peter became a cashier, handling large sums of money, known and trusted by his regular customers. Lectures and formal training sessions supplemented his rapidly increasing experience of practical banking, and it wasn’t long before he was given full responsibility for running the branch when the Manager was away. Now in his early thirties, and earning around £2,400 a year, Peter Jackson is a Manager in his own right, running a medium-sized branch in a busy town. His work brings him into contact with all sorts of people-professional men, bosses of industry, shopkeepers, harassed husbands trying to sort out the family budget-the list is endless. What’s more, it’s no desk-bound job. As a Manager, Peter Jackson spends a lot of his time getting out to see and learn about his customers at first hand. That driving seat of his is just as important as the chair behind his office desk. He’s got to be able to size up a construction job, say, as competently as he sizes up his various customers. Even now, he's very much boss of his own show. But that's by no means the end of the road. Bright people like Peter Jackson who come to Martins can, and very often do, go right to the top of the tree in general management.

Banking is growing fast; technical innovations are coming in rapidly and the scope for real management talent grows all the time. To foster the abilities they need in senior men, Martins send a number of them every year to various residential business schools, including Oxford and Harvard. Experience of this type is invaluable in broadening their knowledge not only of banking but of business problems of every type. Peter Jackson was a shrewd young man. He picked a career that would not only give him the scope he wanted, but would positively help him to develop the qualities to succeed which he already possessed. He’s got a well-paid, responsible job, plus a great many valuable fringe benefits - a first-class pension scheme, excellent sick pay arrangements, special low-cost loans for housing, sports and social facilities - not to mention four-and-a-half weeks’ holiday a year. If you’ve got the qualities of Peter Jackson, with either a degree, 2 ‘A’ Levels or a minimum of 4 ‘O’ Levels, you could enjoy the same sort of exciting, progressive career. The first step is to write with brief details of your achievements to the nearest address overleaf.

Working with Martins is much more than just having a job. For a start, the work is really varied and interesting. As machines and computers take over much of the routine book-keeping and clerical work, more and more girls are becoming cashiers, meeting the customers, getting to know them as individual people in a way that's difficult in most types of business. Customers rely on you, too. You handle important, confidential affairs and are treated very much as a friend and confidante - again, not something that you find in every job. Other jobs include typing and secretarial work – and the secretary to a Branch Manager is an important person in the Bank - as well as specialist jobs for machine operators. Another pleasant thing about working with Martins is the friendly atmosphere you find wherever you go. Colleagues treat you as a friend and an equal, and customers rely on your knowledge and advice. As a Bank we have a reputation for being friendly and helpful, and girls who join us often say how much they value this aspect of their job. There’s a wide range of social and sporting activities open to you as well. Inter-District hockey and tennis matches and other sporting fixtures are arranged, and there are also opportunities for taking part in amateur dramatics and other activities.

Staff dinners and dances, too, are held regularly in each District of the Bank and are always extremely popular and well-attended. Welfare problems are looked after by a Lady Supervisor in each District who is always ready to discuss any personal problems or worries which you may have. Salaries are good, with increases above the basic rates for merit, as well as special allowances for girls working in the London area. Holidays can amount to four-and-a-half weeks a year, according to age and salary, and there are excellent pension, insurance and sick pay schemes. If you are looking for a long-term career there are excellent prospects in Martins, where women are increasingly taking on greater responsibilities. Whatever your aim in life, you'll find that working with Martins is more than just a job - it’s a great deal of fun as well. If you would like to know more, and have an 'O’ Level education or are proficient at typing or shorthand, write with brief particulars, to the nearest address overleaf.

Although by this time the starting salary for both men and women has been made equal, this is about the only thing that is, in a career with Martins Bank.  As we have seen above, men are destined to be managers, on £2,400 by the age of 32, whereas women can expect to have reached £870 by the age of 32 for an “above average” performance.   Men are courted with tempting offers of extra pay for A Levels, and being sent on three month managerial training courses.  Women are enticed by “those wonderful machines that do the donkey work” and the scope to earn more if you work hard.  It is not, however, all about equality of the sexes, or indeed a lack of it.  A career with Martins is an excellent proposition for the long term, and ahead of its time with features such as a two-thirds final salary pension scheme.  So just what IS on offer?  Let us take a look inside our shiny, freshly minted copy of “A career with Martins Martins Bank”…


1963 what has a career in banking to offerWhen you are faced with the difficult problem of choosing your career there are many factors to take into consideration. The most important of these are your own special abilities and ambitions and the opportunities you will be given to fulfil them; but you will, of course, be concerned with such things as pay, conditions of service, holidays prospects of advancement and so on.For a well-educated young man of character, banking offers a most satisfying career with excellent prospects. It affords the widest possible scope for the exercise and reward of talent, for remember, banking is in every sense "Big Business" and requires intelligence, judgment, drive and tact of the highest order.  If you decide to make your career with Martins Bank you will, like everyone else who joins the Bank, start at the bottom and then work your way up. The prospects for new entrants have never been brighter. Approximately 50 % of the men joining the staff can expect to reach branch manager level (many of them do so in their early thirties) and the most able of these will go on climbing to reach the senior management positions in the Bank.

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1963 Meeting People ImageThe banking industry provides an essential service to the community and without banks business could not function in the modern world. The money with which wages are paid has to be collected from suburban banks into which it has been paid by shopkeepers and others, and brought each week to other banks for issue to the cashiers of firms to be made up into wage packets; silver and copper received from transport undertakings have to be redistributed throughout each area; the settlement by cheque of millions of personal and commercial debts is handled daily by the banks, who also finance and handle operations arising out of foreign trade.


On the basis of the sums deposited with them by their customers, banks are in a position to lend money to business, commerce and industry, and to private individuals, too.  Money can be borrowed from a bank by anyone who is credit-worthy and can show that he has a proper need of it. For example, a business man wishing to expand his business may need to borrow money to buy raw materials: an exporter may require credit while awaiting payment for goods sold abroad: a professional man may need a loan until his fees have been paid to him: and a private person may want to borrow from the bank for a variety of purposes. At the same time, a bank offers its customers a range of most useful and important services from the safe-keeping of documents and valuables, the buying of shares through a stockbroker to its appointment as their executor or trustee.

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1963 Page 3 Image 1.jpgSo, as you see, to carry out all these varied functions for our customers we must have branches widely spread over the whole country. Martins Bank has over 600 throughout England and Wales, and these vary from quite small country branches, which may employ less than half a dozen, to large ones in industrial cities having staffs numbering 150 or more. Branches differ very much, not only in size but also in the nature of their business, and members of the staff are transferred from one to another to give them as varied a knowledge and experience as possible. These moves are always stimulating and exciting, as you are brought into touch with different types of customer and learn to handle different kinds of business.

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1963 Page 3 Image 2.jpgIf you have the right type of enquiring mind you will find your work of absorbing interest throughout the whole of your career. You must, of course, first master the necessary elements of the Bank's book-keeping and record systems covering the great number of daily transactions on behalf of customers. As you can imagine, to deal efficiently with an ever-growing volume of business calls for the highest degree of organisation. We therefore use the most modern aids to accounting and we were one of the first banks in the country to use an electronic computer to do the book­keeping of a branch bank.


1963 Page 3 Image 3.jpgLater you will act as a cashier or securities clerk. Most customers of the smaller branches have met and know the manager but the cashier is the person they know best, because they see him or her often and become friendly. A cashier's job is thus very important, because he does so much in serving the needs of customers, keeping them happy and making it a pleasure for them to come to the bank.


The control of the branch rests with the manager who, in larger branches, has an assistant manager or an accountant, or both, to assist him.  In the course of your work in a bank you will have to deal with customers drawn from almost every profes­sion, trade and occupation. The ability to get on well with all kinds of people is one of the "musts" for a successful career in banking.


The Branch Manager…

…has a most interesting job. He is, of course, responsible for everything that goes on within his branch; the organisation of the work, and the training, welfare and discipline of his staff. A good branch manager stands high in the regard of the com­munity he serves. He is an important servant of the public, representing the bank whose duty is to serve the public well. The manager meets and knows all classes of people and he must therefore be a good student of human relations. He is bound to acquire a wide knowledge of affairs relating to business, commerce, industry and agriculture and he has to maintain a keen interest in the changes and problems which arise. His customers will come to discuss their problems with him and his experience and knowledge will be at their disposal. His technical knowledge of banking is wide and his practical experience can only be acquired over years of good solid hard work. Friendly, cheery, ever ready to help, the branch manager has a business life that is never dull, a life which gives all the opportunities one could desire for advancement.


The Assistant Manager

…takes charge of the branch whenever his manager is away from the office. Often he is a man ear-marked for promotion to the position of manager and in the role of assistant he is able to gain the best practical experience to fit him for his future responsi­bilities.


The Accountant…

…is responsible for the running of the routine work of the branch. It is only in the larger offices that an accountant is appointed and the choice is made from those who are masters of every detail of the Bank's book-keeping system.


The Securities Clerk…

is responsible for documents deposited by customers for safe-keeping— share certificates, deeds, policies, etc. He arranges for the purchase or sale of stocks and shares on behalf of cus­tomers with the branch stockbrokers, and generally attends to the recording and perfecting of all forms of security for customers' borrowings. His job requires technical know­ledge and is essential experience in training to be a branch manager. Most of the other members of the staff are behind the scenes actively engaged in entering the daily transactions in the books of account and, in short, carrying out the many varied duties which go to make up a day's work at a branch. Where there is a large volume of work the ledger clerks are often girls who work with the aid of accounting machines, but you too will be required to get to know this work as part of your early training in the Bank. In addition to branch work there are departments which deal with overseas business, executor and trustee work, and income tax matters.

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A Syndicate meeting at a Senior Training Course

There are also the Head Office depart­ments such as Chief Accountant's, Share Transfer, Inspec­tion, Premises and Staff, all of which offer attractive opportunities. Though there is not space to go into detail about the varied nature of employment in these departments, the work does differ a great deal, and the many interesting positions are filled from the rank and file of the Bank.


What are the qualifications for entry?

For a career in banking there are certain personal qualities which you must have. Intelligence, drive and initiative are essential and you will also need to be of good appearance, courteous and to have a pleasing personality.  You should have had a good education and you will be required as a minimum to have passed the G.C.E. at Ordinary Level in English and Mathematics and in two other subjects.  If you stay on at school to Advanced Level you may earn exemption in certain subjects in the examinations of the Institute of Bankers.  Where a young man has Passes in two subjects at Advanced Level in addition, he may be entitled to a higher commencing salary.  Such extended education should develop your personality and powers of leadership.  Possession of such qualifications will accelerate your progress and favourably influence future remuneration.


If you are accepted for entry…

as a new entrant you will probably begin your career at one of our training centres. There, working with officers who have a special flair for instruction, you will gain practical experience of the ordinary day to day routine work of the bank. You will find this preliminary training, usually lasting for a few weeks, of great value to you when you come to take up your duties as a clerk in a branch.


A Banking Diploma…

…You will appreciate of course that you cannot get far in a banking career until you have equipped yourself with the necessary technical know­ledge, and to do this we require you to study for and pass the examinations of the Institute of Bankers. The usual examination which most boys take is that for the Banking Diploma which is in two parts. On completing Part i a bonus of £30 will be paid to you, and £60 on completing Part 2.  Some boys, particularly those who start as juniors in the Trustee Departments, prefer to take the examination for the Trustee Diploma instead of, or before taking, the Banking Diploma. Part I is common to both the Banking and Trustee Diploma examinations. An additional £60 is paid for the Trustee Diploma.


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A class of new entrants at one of our training centres. This preliminary training, usually lasting a few weeks, is of great value to you when you come to take up your duties as a clerk in a branch.

Training Courses

As time goes on, those who are beginning to show fitness for managerial responsibility will be sent on a special Training Course which lasts for several months and gives participants the opportunity of seeing something of the working of all departments of the Bank.  There is also a Travelling Training Scheme, for the younger executives, which provides a valuable means of enlarging their experience in the various fields in which we as a bank are interested. Factories, plants and installations of various kinds are visited and problems of management are explained and studied.  We regularly send specially chosen men to the Adminis­trative Staff College at Henley on Thames. This provides a three months’ residential course for young executives from every kind of business and a considerable broadening of the mind results from participation in these courses of discussion and instruction. Selected men are also sent each year to the International Banking Summer School at Oxford or abroad, and to the Oxford University Business Summer School. Those who are specialising in the overseas side of our business have opportunities of enlarging their experience by travel and by working in banks abroad.

Under our Training Scheme those who are beginning to show fitness for managerial responsibility are sent on a special Course which lasts for several months.

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Under our Travelling Training Scheme young executives visit factories and plants of various kinds to gain practical experience of the problems of management.

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Social Activities

As a member of the staff of Martins Bank you will be able to join in social activities. Most of these activities are organised by the staff themselves and, although they have the active support of the manage­ment, you are absolutely free to decide in which, if any, to join. Inter-District cricket, golf, hockey, soccer and rugby matches are held from time to time and in some districts swimming, tennis, bowling, skating, music, dramatics, operatics, art, bridge, chess and other activities take place. Also staff dinners and dances are held regularly in each dist­rict of the Bank.



You will find that holidays at Martins compare very favourably with those in other occupations. Two to four weeks' holiday are given according to length of service.


How much will you earn?

Salary rates are arranged on a scale according to your age, and details are given on the salary sheet in the pocket at the back of this booklet. An increase in scale salary is granted automatically as each birthday comes round, provided that the reports on your progress are satisfactory, but special ability can also earn you additional 'merit' rewards. We are always on the look out for special talent and when we find it, progress is rapid. You stand a good chance of being appointed a branch manager in your early thirties. Nearly all managers earn more than £1,800 a year and some of them very much more. Later, if you have exceptional qualities of initiative and leadership you may be promoted to one of the higher positions on the executive side which can command salaries of several thousands a year. There is nothing to stop you from becoming Chief General Manager except another better man!


Your Pension

A generous pension amounting to two-thirds of the salary reached on retirement at age 60 after not less than 40 years' service is made possible by the large contributions made by the Bank. You, yourself, contribute towards it 5 per cent per annum of your gross salary and this is deducted month by month from your pay.


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Our “drive-in” branch at Leicester


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The Banking Hall at Head Office

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The Head Office of the Bank at Liverpool


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One of our Mobile Branches

Other Benefits A house purchase scheme is available to assist members of the staff in buying their homes.


Life Assurance…

…can be effected with most of the insurance companies through the Bank's agencies, the premiums being deducted from salary at favourable rates.


Sickness and accident insurance cover…

…is available for members of the staff wishing to contribute.


Widows' and Orphans' Fund.

Here again, with the assistance of very generous contributions from the Bank, members of this fund are able to ensure a pension varying between £150 and £300 for their widows. Membership of the fund is compulsory and 2 per cent of your salary up to a maximum of £25 per annum is deducted each month.


Death Benefit Fund. 

Membership of the Death Benefit Fund provides cover for dependants if death should occur before age 60.  Maximum tax advantages accrue and in consequence the rates of contribution are extremely low.  Membership is voluntary.


Bank Clerks’ Orphanage

Male members of the staff may contribute to the Bank Clerks' Orphanage which, in the event of the father's death, cares for and protects his children during the period of their education.


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The exterior of our Branch at Nantwich, and a typical modern interior design

at Stratford Upon Avon – attractive, well designed buildings ensure

pleasant working conditions.

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1962 Careers Booklet Reply Slip.jpgIn this little book we have tried to give you some idea of what a career in Martins Bank has to offer and also what will be required of you if you are to succeed in this walk of life.


If a banking career appeals to you there are probably a number of questions you would like to ask before you finally make up your mind.


We would like to have the opportunity of meeting you personally and setting your mind at rest on any points, not covered in this booklet, about which you would like some information.


You will find a form for this purpose inside the back cover. Just fill it in and send it to us and we will arrange to meet and talk matters over.

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September 1965 sees the launch of a more compact careers guide that goes all out to find “Industrious young men” and “Intelligent girls” who would like to experience –

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1965 (Sep) A Career with Big Opportunities.jpgThe what about you boy.jpgONE IN TWO of the men joining our staff can expect to become Branch Managers or attain a position of equivalent status. The duties of a Branch Manager are varied, interesting and rewarding, relating as they do to the human and business problems of a wide cross-section of private individuals or company customers. To prepare men to meet the tasks of management great emphasis is placed on training. Internal schemes are supplemented by external opportunities of attending Extra Mural Courses arranged by Universities and Business Colleges. Selected men attend International Summer Schools and specialists in the overseas side have opportunities to travel and work abroad.


Industrious young men who succeed in the Institute of Bankers' Examinations and take advantage of the training opportunities afforded by the Bank can achieve Branch Management at 30 years of age or earlier with a salary of over £2,200 p.a. In the build up to Management, good performance can earn merit awards. Progress in Branch Management can lead to salaries of over £5,500 p.a. Commencing income for intelligent, personable, ambi­tious young men with a minimum of:— 4 G.C.E. '0' Level passes at 16 years of age—£370 p.a. 2 G.C.E.'A' Level passes at 18 years of age—£525 p.a. Or a University Degree at 21 years of age—£800 p.a. For staff working in the London area an additional London Allowance of up to £150 a year is paid.


1961 Nicest People, Face Only Martins 61-62 (25-251)For an intelligent girl a career in banking offers special attractions, and at Martins Bank you will find that every encouragement is given to you to progress. There are opportunities for quick advancement to responsible positions such as secretary, cashier, machine supervisor or trust officer—all well paid posts. The basic salary for girls rises from £370 at 16 to £830 at 32 years of age and merit increases are added as a reward for above average performance.


For staff working in the London area an additional London Allowance of up to £150 a year is paid. Then there's the congenial atmosphere. You will enjoy working at Martins Bank. The people are friendly and helpful. The work is interesting. The working conditions are excellent. And there are special facilities for recrea­tion.


For a young man or woman who has four passes at 'O' level in the G.C.E.—including English Language and Mathematics—or, alternatively, for a girl who is proficient at shorthand and typing, a career with Martins Bank offers excellent prospects. Why not come and talk it over with us? Please write to the address below.

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Superintendent of Branches (Staff)

Martins Bank Limited,

4, Water Street, Liverpool 2.


September 1965.


The nicest people work at Martins Bank…

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Let’s face it, the early to mid 1960s is a DIFFERENT time.  The pace of life is altogether slower, children are allowed to be children for much longer than today, (in fact “the teenager” is still a relatively new phenomenon), and male and female roles are much more clearly – and stereotypically -  defined.  Martins’ reputation for friendly and helpful staff comes from its careful choice of employee, and firm regulation of the staff of the Bank.  

In return for loyalty and integrity, staff are well looked after in practically every way APART from good pay (many staff struggle on very low earnings), and although it is possible for women to get on, there is a clear bias towards the care and nurture of the male staff.   Whilst our “the nicest people…” sub-headings below are NOT produced by the Bank, they are a fair summary of some of the rules imposed at the time…

It is only fair to remember that these are the times when ALL employers can discriminate between the sexes, and that Martins conditions are otherwise excellent, with a real spirit of care being shown from above for everyone.  Former staff still speak of a family atmosphere, and managers who were “father figures”.  This newspaper ad campaign in the 1960s on the theme of “the nicest people work at Martins Bank”, features smiling young ladies looking happy relaxed, and lucky to be with the bank. 

In the early 1960s, the bank explores the use of computers almost as a “replacement” for the hard-working young women clerks many of whom work for only a few years before they have to leave to get married.  Whilst it seems today to be a stark choice – stay at work and get on, or leave to get married and have children, this is the choice across a wide section of British industry.  At Martins, many women do stay on and find progression within the bank, even if they are still several steps behind their male counterparts. 

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Image © Barclays (Re-mastered)

Abiding by the rules…

By the time governments and employers begin to take equal pay and conditions more seriously, Martins has all but been absorbed into Barclays, and the early 1970s will bring the necessary legislation…What better way to be welcomed into the bosom of the Bank that goes to extremes to be helpful, than with your own personalised induction handbook, signed by Mr Connacher (Chief General Manager of the Bank) himself!  The booklet reminds you of the history and tradition of the bank you are about to work for, and in case you are in any doubt of the calibre expected of you, it continues -


“WHEN you first came for your interview, you may have felt somewhat overpowered at the thought of working for a bank, and so the first thing we want to say to you is that you are a very important person in our scheme of things”}…{ Banks have come to mean strength, solidity and uprightness in an unstable world.  They owe this reputation to the men who have guided them and worked for them.”


- before going on to appraise you of the salary scales, holidays and other benefits you can expect in return for your hard work. Women in Martins face a vastly different career path their male counterparts. Even into the mid-1960s, women are expected to leave the bank upon marriage, and salary scales are different according to gender.

In today’s world, where it is normal to stay in a job for a short time before moving on to the next one, we love the idea that Martins Bank thought their new entrants might feel “overpowered at the thought of working for a bank”! All new entrants, whether male or female, are required to sign a SERVICE AGREEMENT on entering the service of the Bank. More than an ordinary job contract, it actually requires the new employee to think hard about the position they are being given, and how important it is to follow and abide by the rules in return. We have reproduced the text of Martins’ Service agreement below.  It certainly leaves everyone knowing where they stand, and, of course, what will happen if rules are bent or broken….

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{"In consideration of your taking me into your service, I, (NAME) of (ADDRESS) hereby undertake to serve you faithfully during my engagement and to conform to the Staff regulations and all general or specific directions as may from time to time be given to me by you or on your behalf by the Chief General Manager or any other duly authorised officer of your Bank.


My engagement is to be subject to your right at any time forthwith to determine it on the grounds of misconduct, or, in any other case, upon your giving me one calendar month's previous notice in writing, or in lieu of such notice, paying to me one months salary, and subject to my right to determine the said engagement at any time upon giving you one calendar months previous notice in writing.


In the event of my leaving your service, I will not, without your written consent, during a period of five years from the time of my so leaving, accept or undertake any engagement or service which shall involve or result in my being employed by any other bank, banking company or banking firm, within a radius of ten miles from any branch or office of your bank in which I shall have been employed at any time during the last five years of my service with you, but it is understood that my engagement or employ­ment by any bank, banking company or banking firm carrying on business beyond the radius aforesaid, and having branches within the radius, shall not be deemed to be a breach of this undertaking, provided that such engage­ment or employment shall not involve my residing, or carrying on business, or exercising my employment within such radius.


I further undertake and agree that in the event of any breach by me of the provisions of the last preceding clause hereof, I will pay to you on demand as and by way of liquidated damages, the sum of £1,000, which sum you shall be at liberty and are hereby expressly empowered to receive against me as liquidated damages, and without prejudicing or in any way affecting your right to restrain, by injunction or otherwise, any such breach, or to exercise and enforce any and every other remedy which may be available to you, either at law or in equity by reason or in respect of any such breach.


I further agree and declare that I will observe the strictest secrecy on the subject of all transactions of your Bank with its customers, or with any other person or persons, or bodies corporate or politic whatsoever, and that I will not reveal or make known either directly or indirectly to any person whomsoever, whether a share­holder or otherwise, the state of any account, or any other matters or concerns of the Bank, its Customers, Share­holders, Directors and Staff, unless required by you to do so, or by and under the direction and authority of a Court of Justice, and I further undertake that I will consider this declaration to be binding upon me after I shall have ceased to hold an appointment in your Bank.


Yours faithfully…”}


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Staff Training…

The training of staff is of extreme importance to Martins, as it will of course create those “nice people” whose customer 1963 Training Branch stamp MBM-Au63FC.jpgservice skills are second to none, and whose knowledge will be deep and wide. Cashiers and Securities Clerks are trained using realistic materials  such as those below.  Training is seen as personal betterment, and photographs of successful candidates are published in Martins Bank Magazine. Whilst courses are provided for both men and women, these are largely segrgated – the men being groomed as management of the future, and women, bound by the Bank’s own rule that they must leave upon marriage, being trained in the execution of day to day procedure, and the operation of office machinery.

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For many course Candidates, these training materials are their first contact with the world of banking

The male managers of the future, hard at work at

the North Eastern training school…

…whilst those young girls at Machine school learn how

to make those “wonderful machines do the donkey work”

EQUAL opportunities?

Within the extensive staff records held by the Archive, reference to successful women in Martins is scarce, and it is also rare to find a woman’s name that isn’t prefixed with “Miss”.  There are even one or two examples where women have been allowed to stay in the bank following marriage, but they are using their MARRIED surname prefixed by “Miss”. Otherwise, men feature as the preferred gender for “getting on” in the bank.  In some areas of the country, staff canteens are segregated in to men’s and girls’. All available images of training centres feature men becoming the managers of tomorrow. 

Whilst holiday entitlement is broadly equal, the qualifying salary for four weeks’ annual leave is greater for men than it is for women, but it will take women much longer to achieve that particular salary which gives some idea of the disparity of pay. The smiling lady in the advert tells us “My pay is quite good”.  At age 16, it is equivalent to £ 3.94 per week!

It seems that men and women are equal until the magic age of 23, at which point pay for male clerks starts to rise more each year than it does for female clerks. In addition, the men are reminded of how special they are, with the incentive of special “merit” awards of extra salary increase to reward good work and encourage more of the same.  Men do NOT, however, have things all their own way, (and once again the word “marriage” comes into it) as we shall see later on…

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The list of rules for male clerks is long and detailed, a sort of list of commandments that include the compulsory study for Bank Exams, being forbidden from going overdrawn, being forbidden from gambling in any way shape or form, AND being forbidden from getting married until your salary has reached a certain level.  The Bank’s aim is that those who marry should not get into financial difficulty as a result.  Staff with money troubles are seen as an embarrassment, and although generous housing loans can sometimes be made available, not everyone will qualify…


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Clause 16

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The extract shown above is from 1937.  What makes regulation No 16 even more astonishing, is that it still exists in 1965!  Perhaps male clerks are spending too much of their hard earned cash on the “Swinging London” experience, and cannot therefore afford to keep a wife?   The waiver for the regulation – having sufficient income of your own – is further hampered by regulation No 15, which forbids men from engaging in any trade, profession or business, either directly or indirectly, without the permission of the directors of the Bank.

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A generous package of benefits…

In 1960 Martins Bank Staff Association and the Bank jointly issue a booklet entitled “Inside Information”, designed to help staff understand not only the rules and regulations that go with working for Martins, but also the various benefits that such employment carries.  This mixture of benefits and insurance goes some way to making up for low pay. The Staff Association is the nearest thing to a trade union the staff of Martins will ever have.




All staff covered at no cost to themselves are covered for the following:

In the event of accident causing: -



Loss of two limbs, two eyes, or one of each


Loss of one limb or one eye


Temporary total disablement up to 13 weeks

£ 1-5-0 per week  (£1.25)



Members agree to pay a fixed monthly sum by standing order, and at any time in the year they can withdraw the total of twelve payments in one go to pay for a holiday.


The scheme also allows payment of rates and certain other bills.



Management are expected to allow all members of staff at least one Saturday off in every four, and more where this can be accommodated.  Time off during the week is an alternative, but many people will never achieve a five-day working week whilst working for Martins.




·         SAVINGS

In return for not being allowed to bank anywhere else, staff are paid 4% on their current account balances up to £100), minimum of 2½% up to the next £1000, and standard deposit account rate on anything above £2000.


·         STAFF LOANS


Ordinary Advances



House Purchase loans



Personal Loan





In addition to basic salary

£60 pa


1/6d% on each complete £100 of salary. 

Minimum 6/- (30p)

Maximum 15/- (75p)

(This is complex by anyone’s standards today, so here’s how it works:


1/6d = £0.075.  On a salary of £460pa, £400 will count towards the calculation: 4 x 1/6d = 6/- (30p).  £460pa is around 22p per hour, and overtime will be 30p per hour. 


You cannot not be paid overtime until you have worked more than 8½ hours.  Working 8 hours 29 minutes results in NO overtime. This situation continues until the late 1980s, when Barclays finally relents and pays overtime after the first 20 minutes! The profit to the bank of these 29-minute unpaid periods probably ran into tens of thousands of pounds over the years.



Diploma Exam Part  I


Banking Diploma Part II 


Trustee Diploma Part II   


Text Book Allowance…


…Banking Exams

Six Guineas (£6.30)

…Trustee Exams               

Six Guineas (£6.30)

Additional Relevant Exams

80% of total expenses incurred



Subsidised meals at nine locations in England Wales the Channel islands and the Isle of Man



for relief staff away from normal office 3s 6d per day tax free (17 ½p)



Reduced Rate Membership



£1. 11s. 6d. pa (£1.57½p)


Motor Cycle

£1.  5s. 6d. pa (£1.27½p)

Lengths ahead!

We are indebted to Martins Staff Member and friend of the Archive, Dave Baldwin, for preserving the first of the following advertisements from his school magazine.  These ads are part of Martins’ 1966 recruitment campaign…

Desperate times call for desperate measures…

Before we leave the subject of the recruitment and retention of staff, we wanted to include two more advertisments – this time restored from the Martins Bank Archive Collection – which show how sexist the jobs market still was in the late 1960s. With almost full employment, it was difficult for companies to recruit or retain school leavers and those in their twenties who could easily walk from one job into another.

These ads are both from 1968. “Ticket to Ride” gives a rather foggy nod to a Beatles hit of the same name from three years earlier. It offers girls the chance to move to London and to be “at the heart of things”. Today it seems that the only thing women needed was the ability to type, and a fondness for partying. The second advert is almost a plea from Martins Bank at Sevenoaks for young people to come in and ask for job.  Just compare what the bank expects by way of qualifications in young men with those of women. Equal rights of employment are still more than five years away from becoming law. All this is, of course more than fifty years ago, but in these more “enlightened” times of the twenty-first century, we find the phrase “there’s no limit for an ambitious girl at Martins” more than a little creepy…

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