The Bank’s first Head Office branch was located in various offices situated in Edmund Street, Birmingham – initially space in the Water Department, and then (from July 6th 1925) at 6 to 8 Edmund Street. This latter office becoming inadequate over the next few years, and extension of the premises being impossible, the Bank was allocated a site in the proposed Civic Centre in Broad Street.
The foundation stone for a new Head Office in Broad Street was laid by Neville Chamberlain on October 22nd 1932. The premises were opened on November 27th 1933 by HRH The Prince George, KG. A description of the building is given at Architecture - Head Office.
The staff involvement in the move from Edmund Street to Broad Street was described by Fred Parsonage (see Nostalgia): Come the transfer to our new Head Office premises, all ledgers, documents, etc were conveyed to Broad Street from Edmund Street during the night. The staff involved had worked all day and then came back in the early evening and worked all night and all next day. We had a few policemen keeping an eye on us.
Head Office Branch (known to all staff as ‘Banking Hall’ to distinguish it from the administration functions of the building) occupied the central section of the ground floor of the building, with its height extending through the first and second floors to a glass-panelled ceiling. The Banking Hall measured 67 feet by 53 feet, and featured a u-shaped counter approximately 100 feet in length. Provision was made for ten cashiers’ positions, plus enquiry desks where the rear sections of the counter adjoined the side walls. An original plan of the building's Ground Floor is reproduced below.
Additional facilities available to the branch included Interview Rooms on the east side of the Banking Hall; Machine Rooms behind the Banking Hall; and a strongroom and secure storage facilities in the basement. Access to the latter facilities were by a lift and stairs located between the Machine Rooms.
Head Office Branch always held the largest number of accounts of any branch, although after the construction of Birmingham’s Ringway road system, the isolation of the building led to a decline in activity from the 1960s. By 1960, the number of accounts that had been opened at the branch since 1919 exceeded 150,000.
In addition to serving its own customers, the branch was responsible for providing support to the remainder of the branch network. These tasks included the supply of travellers’ cheques, foreign currency, and emergency cash. To reflect its size, and these additional responsibilities, the manager's title was initially 'Controller' - this role was first occupied by F W Parsonage.
The branch was closed (when part of LloydsTSB) on October 23rd 1998.