Behind the counter | RBS Remembers

RBS remembers 1914-1918

Behind the counter

Bank staff worked together to meet new responsibilities, and to keep serving their customers, while also worrying about colleagues on active service and coping with changing demographics in their own ranks.

Pay and hours

Staff shortages and rampant inflation changed working hours and pay structures.

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Bank salaries in 1914

Banking was a respectable but modestly-paid career.


 

Wartime pay – permanent staff

As the cost of living rocketed, it became harder to make ends meet.


 

Wartime pay – temporary staff

Most new workers were paid weekly wages rather than salaries.

Women at work

Thousands of women ‘did their bit’ by going to work in banks.

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The first temporary lady clerks

The arrival of women permanently transformed the banking workforce.


 

Men and women at work together

Never before had men and women worked side-by-side in banks.


 

Women making a banking career

For some women, wartime bank jobs developed into careers.

 

The banks on the eve of war

Britain's banks in 1914 were essentially Victorian in their outlook and culture.

 

 

Working in a bank in wartime

Every aspect of banking life felt the impact of war.

 

 

Temporary staff

Banks relied on temporary staff, including retired bankers and women.

 

 

Staff fundraising for charities

Staff clubbed together to provide support for people on active service.

 

 

Anti-German attitudes

Public hostility to all things German made life difficult for some of our staff.

 

 

Air raids

Banks had to cope with  the threat of enemy bombing.

 

 

Trade unions

The economic pressures and unique conditions of war led to the unionisation of bank workers.

 

 

The flu pandemic

In 1918 a deadly flu pandemic swept the country.

 

 

Wartime rolls of honour

Banks were keen to remember staff who were away on active service, or who had been killed.

 

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