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Making life easier for everybody!

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The Spring of 1962 sees a new revolution – the creation of a service jointly, by all eleven clearing banks to make the job of paying money into accounts much easier.  Initially the new Credit Transfer service will be of specific benefit to businesses with invoices to pay, but is soon adapted and used to pay wages to employees, and also for customers of one bank to pay money directly (“directly” here means three working days but is nevertheless a huge leap forward!) into the accounts of customers of another.  At this time, the eleven United Kingdom clearing banks are: Barclays Coutts & Co District Bank Glyn Mills & Co Lloyds Bank Martins Bank Midland Bank National Bank National Provincial Bank Westminster Bank and Williams Deacon's Bank. You can take a look at the history and 1960s syle of these banks in our supplementary feature THE 1960s CLEARING BANKS.


C trans Bdr.jpgPublicity for the new service is a two-pronged attack, consisting of leaflets and other generic advertising copy produced for customers by each individual bank. The two separate full page newspaper advertisements  are designed to show how all eleven clearing banks consider Credit Transfers should be taken seriously as a useful and very important new banking service.  The first, with eye-catching cartoons is aimed at personal customers, explaining that when paying several bills at once by credit transfer, it is not necessary to have a bank account – it is however cheaper, as a fee of sixpence per transfer is made in the absence of an account!

The second advertisement is aimed at business customers, who arguably have the most to benefit from the new system -

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There is now available at every branch of the eleven Clearing Banks an extension of a banking service that will help every organisation which has invoices to send. It is called the Credit Transfer service and it greatly simplifies the handling of accounts. In operation, the Creditor Company sends with the bill, either as a detachable part of it or separately enclosed with it, a standard slip naming the bank and branch at which the Company's account is kept. 


The customer, if he has no bank account, takes as many slips as he has, with cash to the total amount involved, and hands the money over the counter at any branch of any of the banks mentioned below.  If the customer has a bank account he can, of course, use a single cheque and conduct his business by post.


The advantages of the Credit Transfer service are considerable, both for those who supply goods and services and those who pay for them. The supplier is saved the trouble of dealing with a multitude of individual payments, for they go straight to his bank, from whom notification and the relevant slips will be received at regular intervals. The buyer is also saved both time and trouble; whether he has one bill to pay or twenty, a single payment at any bank pays them all.


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Full steam ahead…

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1960 Close up of Heywoods statements printing on Friden Flexowriter RHIt is 1964, and the mighty PEGASUS COMPUTER is put to work on behalf one of Martins Bank’s largest customers – The Cunard steam Ship Company Limited - to make the new credit transfer payments.  This is one of the earliest uses of the Bank’s pioneering computer equipment – one payment is recorded against the customer’s account, and individual credit transfers adding up to the total payment are produced on the Friden Flexowriter printers at LIVERPOOL COMPUTER CENTRE to be sent into the new credit clearing system. New stationery is soon produced both in Liverpool and London to meet the needs of the new system and the customers who will use it...

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A concerted campaign

So determined are the eleven clearing banks to make the new system of Credit Transfers work, readers of newspapers and magazines in every part of the UK are bombarded with an advertising campaign showing the many advantages to everyone from housewife to businessman and all stops in-between…

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Images – Martins Bank Archive Collections