November 1968: “A member of the Barclays Group”…

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The Eagle and the Grasshopper ShadedA rather curious thing happens between the two official merger dates of 1 November 1968 and 12 December 1969 – Martins still exists under its own name albeit as “A member of the Barclays Group of Companies”. The press is provided with a number of advertisements such as “The Eagle and the Grasshopper – a Fable” and “The End of the Beginning” which are designed specifically to soften up those who might still oppose the takeover of Martins. Despite all that, for one last time Martins is allowed its own branded customer leaflet campaign, designed to promote just about every product that Martins can still sell at this time.  


“Everyone Needs a Bank Account” is one of these - a glossy 26 page brochure, which is reproduced here, and evokes perfectly in words and pictures this optimistic – but sadly short-lived – period in the late 1960s.  Look out for the major plug for American Express Cards which is another surprise from Martins – Barclaycard is well established at this time, and has even been marketed on television in Scotland to customers of another Barclays subsidiary – The British Linen Bank. (You can read more about this and watch the TV ad on our YouTube® Channel by clicking on ‘Bankers Card’ above). 

The special arrangement with American Express to charge Martins Bank customers a lower subscription, might at first seem to be biting the hand that feeds – Barclaycard’s exponential growth in its few short years of life will soon make it the dominant UK credit card, proving that Barclays has its eagle eye on the bigger picture…




How a bank account can help you


Current Accounts are the most common and widely used kind of bank account A Current Account can be opened with only a pound or two and enables you to pay in money you receive, draw cash on demand whenever you require it, pay your outgoings by cheque, and make use of the Bank's other money transfer services as well.


For example, you can pay in your salary or wages, or have them paid in direct by your employer, and you can pay in other cash, cheques, postal orders or dividends you may receive.


Bills, insurance premiums, hire purchase instalments, rent rates and other outgoings can be paid by cheque or by the Bank's money transfer services. If you are a housewife, you can pay in your housekeeping allowance and settle your accounts at the shops by cheque. Your 'paid' cheques—those which have passed through the banking system and have been returned to your branch—are available if you wish to retain them and can be used as proof of payment.

Two or more people can share a bank account by opening a 'joint account'. A husband and wife may find a joint account convenient as arrangements can be made for either of them to draw cheques independently. The Bank keeps a record—called a Statement-showing the amounts paid in and drawn out and the current balance in your account Your Statement is readily available to you; you can ask for it to be sent to you at any time or the Bank will send it to you at regular intervals if you prefer.


Deposit Accounts are generally used for keeping money which is surplus to your immediate needs, or for your regular savings, or when you have no need of a cheque book. Money in a Deposit Account earns interest the rate varying with general interest rates, Technically, money in a Deposit Account is placed 'on deposit' for a minimum of seven days, but it is usually possible to withdraw sums without notice by foregoing seven days' interest.


Savings Accounts combine the benefits of Current and Deposit Accounts. You can open a Savings Account with as little as 1 s. and interest is paid on your money. Interest is fixed at 4£% on the first £250: on amounts over £250 the rate is the same as on a De­posit Account. With a Savings Account you do not have a cheque book. Instead you are given a savings book and, if you wish, a special money box to help you save money at home. You can pay money into your Savings Account, or withdraw money from it, by taking your book to any branch of Martins Bank.

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At branches other than your own, withdrawals are limited to a maximum of £20 at a time, unless previous arrangements are made for larger sums to be available


Grasshopper Savings

Accounts for Children

are designed to encourage children to save. When a Grasshopper Savings Account is opened —the initial deposit can be as little as 1 s.— the child is given an attractive money box in the shape of a grasshopper, a colourful savings book, and a special paying-in and withdrawal book. The child also receives a gilt grasshopper lapel badge. This scheme is run on proper banking lines. Children aged seven and over can open their own account: for those under seven the account is opened by a parent or guardian. The rates of interest and withdrawal arrangements are the same as for ordinary Savings Accounts, but if the child is under seven the parent or guardian signs the withdrawal slips.


Opening an account 

Opening a bank account is a straightforward affair. Simply call at your nearest branch of Martins and explain that you wish to open an account: any member of the staff will be pleased to discuss which types of account will suit your needs and to make the necessary arrangements for you.


A word about charges 

People sometimes think that it will cost them a lot of money to have a bank account. This certainly isn't so at Martins, where charges are kept to a minimum. Because of widely differing circumstances it is not possible to indicate here what the cost would be, but the Manager will be pleased at any time to discuss the likely charges in your own particular case.


Bank Money transfer Services



The 'Money Mark' is the symbol of the banks' money transfer services, it stands for a range of services based on years of experience and which, with the increasing use of computers, will offer the speediest possible money transfer…


From the time when the early bankers began using a London coffee house in which to exchange or 'clear' cheques drawn on each other, the 'Clearing Banks', as they became known, have provided their customers with an efficient means of paying and receiving money without the need to use cash. But the money transfer needs of today's sophisticated society cannot be satisfied by the cheque alone. Con­sequently, the banks have developed other methods for money transfer, now known as Bank Giro. 'Giro', which is derived from the Greek, is a short, convenient word widely used on the continent to describe the circula­tion of money.

From the time when the early bankers began using a London coffee house in which to exchange or 'clear' cheques drawn on each other, the 'Clearing Banks', as they became known, have provided their customers with an efficient means of paying and receiving money without the need to use cash.  But the money transfer needs of today's sophisticated society cannot be satisfied by the cheque alone. Con­sequently, the banks have developed other methods for money transfer, now known as Bank Giro. 'Giro', which is derived from the Greek, is a short, convenient word widely used on the continent to describe the circula­tion of money.


Bank Giro Credits

Bank Giro credits (formerly known as credit transfers) are a convenient means of paying money direct to the bank account of any person or business. By using the Bank Giro credit form, several payments can be made at one time with a single cheque, saving the cost of cheques and postage. Payments by Bank Giro credits are free to customers of the Bank.


Standing Orders

Regular outgoings, such as insurance premiums, rent hire purchase instalments and similar items can be paid with a minimum of trouble by means of Standing Orders. These authorise the Bank to make regular pay­ments on your behalf automatically, saving you the trouble of remembering when payments fall due and avoiding the need to write and post cheques.

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Direct Debiting

A Direct Debit is like a Standing Order in reverse. With your agreement, the company or undertaking to which you are due to make regular payments claims the amount from your account on the due dates. By this system periodic bills of variable amounts, which could not be paid by Standing Order, can be settled without any action on your part,


As well as providing the basic facilities outlined so far, Martins Bank provides many other useful services for its customers. These are described in the following pages; if you would like any of the services explained to you in more detail, your local branch will be very pleased to help you.


If you are away from home on holiday or business, arrangements can be made for you to cash cheques at any branch of Martins or at any other convenient bank anywhere in this country or abroad. Martins Bank travellers' cheques, which can be used both abroad and in this country, provide a safe, convenient means of carrying money.


They are ex­changeable for cash at banks and are accepted in most hotels, large stores, airports and bureaux de change. For your overseas travel the Bank can supply foreign currency. They will also advise on United Kingdom Currency regulations and on any regulations which may apply in the countries you plan to visit.


Payments to and from overseas countries

If you need to send money abroad, or if you receive money from overseas, the Bank can make all the necessary arrangements, including applying for Bank of England permission on your behalf where necessary.


Supplying a reference

As a customer of the Bank you can use the Bank's name as a reference—a useful facility when opening a shopping or credit account for example.


Bankers Card

Customers of Martins Bank can apply for a Bankers Card, which enables them to draw up to £30 in cash on demand at any of more than 12,000 branches of Martins and other banks throughout the country which operate similar schemes. The Card offers a guarantee of pay­ment to a shopkeeper or other person who accepts your cheque for up to £30 on production of your Card. This is an extremely valuable facility when you are shopping, travelling, or on holiday, and wish to pay by cheque.


American Express Credit Cards

Through Martins Bank you can apply for an American Express Sterling Credit Card which enables you to obtain goods and services from many airlines, hotels, restaurants and shops without using cash. You show your card and sign the bill—then, when you receive your monthly statement from American Express, you send a cheque to them in settlement. There are advantages in applying for your American Express Sterling Credit Card through Martins Bank: - Your manager may be able to dispense with the formal­ity of taking references and so speed up the issue of your Card; and in the first year Martins gives you a rebate of £1 from the normal annual subscription of four guineas.


Financial help

At one time or another most people need financial assistance and there are many ways in which Martins Bank can help. Your Manager will always be glad to consider granting an overdraft or loan in appropriate circumstances or to discuss other means of financing your requirements.


Personal Loans

A Martins Bank Personal Loan is a convenient, simple and inexpensive way of raising money for various important items of expenditure. Loans are available in suitable cases to pay for items such as a car, new furni­ture, household appliances, insurance premiums, and similar requirements.

The fixed interest rate and regular equal monthly repayments make budgeting easier, and interest on personal loans is allowable against income tax. Any outstanding balance is automatically cancelled if you should die before the loan is repaid and there are special arrangements if you are unable to work because of illness or accident.  The provision of Personal Loans may, from time to time, be restricted or prevented by Government measures to control the national economy.



Income Tax

Martins Bank Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Bank, has a special Income Tax Division to help customers with their Income Tax and Surtax problems.


With the growing complexity of tax law, more and more people are finding it worthwhile to make use of the Company's experience in this field, and in many cases the modest charge made is more than offset by tax recovered for the customer.


Looking after investments

If you do not have the time you would wish to devote to looking after your investments, or if, perhaps, you feel the need for skilled advice about their management Martins can help you through the Trustee and Invest­ment Division of Martins Bank Trust Company.  The investments remain your own property and the Company manages them in accordance with your particular wishes. Generally, recommendations re­garding investments are submitted for your approval, but if you wish the Company will manage investments in accordance with wider terms of reference.  In addi­tion the Company will undertake the collection of dividends, deal with 'rights* issues and attend to all necessary documentation in relation to your investments.


Martins Unicorn Group of Unit Trusts

Unit trusts enable you to invest in a large number of public companies without the bother of the many separate transactions needed to acquire the stocks and shares.


You can buy units of the Martins Unicorn Group of Unit Trusts at any branch of Martins and your Manager will help you to select the Trust best suited to your investment needs.


You do not need a large amount of money to invest in Martins Unicorn Trusts. There is a savings plan to enable you to buy units month by month, and Martins Unicorn Bonds, in units of £20, provide a simple and con­venient way of investing in the Martins Unicorn Trust of your choice.


Wills and Trusts

You can deposit your Will for safe-keeping with the Bank, and Martins Bank Trust Company will act as Executor or Trustee if desired, There are many advan­tages in appointing the Trust Company as Executor under your Will, either alone or jointly with others. These are set out fully in the booklet Taking Care of Your Affairs', a guide to the Investment and Trustee services of the Company, which is available from your local branch.


Looking after valuables

The Bank offers the facilities of its strongrooms and safes for the safe-keeping of deeds, share certificates and other documents of value, as well as for locked boxes or sealed parcels containing jewellery or other valuables.


Advice and information

Your Martins Manager is always ready to give you the benefit of his experience in banking and financial matters. Where necessary, he can obtain for you detailed information and written reports from the Bank's specialist departments.


Confidential service

All dealings between Martins Bank, its subsidiaries and its customers are conducted on a confidential basis. Details of your accounts will not be divulged to any­one, not even a relative, without authority.

A word about Martins

Martins started as the Bank of Liverpool over 130 years ago, but the old private Martin's Bank of London, which became part of the present organisation in 1918, dates back to 1563. The Grasshopper symbol is the emblem which Sir Thomas Gresham, the famous Elizabethan financier, displayed outside his premises in Lombard Street, where Martins' principal London Office now stands and where banking business has been con­ducted without a break since the sixteenth century.


Today Martins Bank, a member of the Barclays Group, has well over 700 branches throughout England and Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.  At all of them you will receive the same friendly, helpful ser­vice which we have made our byword. Call in and have a word with the Manager of your nearest branch of Martins. He will be delighted to meet you and to explain in more detail the services which we offer, and how an account with Martins could help someone like you.




4 Water Street Liverpool, 2



Leeds 28-30 Park Row, 1

Liverpool 4 Water Street 2

London 68 Lombard Street EC3

Manchester 43 Spring Gardens, 2

Midland 98 Colmore Row, Birmingham, 3

North Eastern 22 Grey Street Newcastle upon Tyne, 1

South Western  8 Corn Street Bristol, 1

Over 700 branches throughout the country


November 1968

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Martins Bank Publications

As well as a series of leaflets which explain many of the services described here, Martins Bank publishes annual editions of the following guides for business­ people, exporters and farmers:

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Starting a Business in Britain

A wealth of information about

business in this country.

The World is your Market

A guide to overseas trading.


Finance for Farmers and Growers

A comprehensive guide to the grants and loans available from various sources, written in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.