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Old banking methods were more reliable

I worked briefly in 1961 in a small, rural town as the junior bank official at a branch of the Ulster Bank. My main responsibility was manually totting up all remittances (cheque transactions, deposits and withdrawals of cash) each day.

I was forbidden to leave until all accounts were written up and balanced and the cheques and cash slips had been filed neatly and in alphabetical order in Stork margarine boxes.

I hated the drudgery of the work and left after a few months.

I could not understand why the bank persisted with these manual methods when new technologies associated with punched cards were widely available.

It is unpleasant to have to face the fact that I have been in denial on this point for a half century. I now admit it: I was wrong.

JOHN JORDAN

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