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 SUMMER LANE
260 Summer Lane, Birmingham
This branch, in an inner suburb of Birmingham, opened at 260 Summer Lane on Saturday, April 25th 1925, and the opening hours were:
    - Mondays 18:00 to 20:00
    - Saturdays 18:00 to 20:00
 
The premises used for this Evening Branch came to the attention of the Bank in December 1924 when the General Manager reported to the General Purposes Sub-Committee that the present tenant would require payment of 75 in respect of vacant possession and fittings which include electric light throughout, and the owner of the property, Mr J Brown of Copeley Hill, Stockland Green, Erdington, is prepared to enter into a lease for a period of seven years at a rental of 45 per annum, with an option to renew for a further seven years at 50 per annum.The property comprises on the ground floor a retail shop with a frontage of 14'6" and a depth of 14', and living-room 13' x 12', which might be made into one by the removal of the division wall; a living kitchen with grate and scullery; cellar basement: on the first floor, two bedrooms, and on the second floor an attic bedroom and box-room. The property is in a very fair state of repair, having regard to its age, and there is a small working market in this vicinity.
 
At that time, the tenant was in negotiation with a tailor for the premises, but agreed to stay his hand until the Bank's agent and valuer (Frank Wilde) had received instructions. The Bank instructed Mr Wilde to arrange the lease on the terms requested, and the Town Clerk entered into the lease on behalf of the Corporation. Subsequently, however, the vacated premises were left in a very bad condition, and the cost of repairs and the re-arrangement of the shop front amounted to 89. Shortly prior to the branch opening in April 1925, the premises were offered for sale, but in view of the fact that there was as yet no indication of the level of demand for the Bank's services in the area, no steps were taken to buy. Additionally, it was not known whether the location was ideal, or the premises were sufficiently commodious (without the acquisition of additional property) for the establishment of a permanent branch.
 
The number of open accounts after 12-months was 616, with an average balance (less than 9, when the Bank average was 34) that illustrated the poor nature of the people living in this inner city area. At March 31st  1926, Deposit balances amounted to 5,308; they then increased to 8,602 at November 30th 1926.
 
 

 

 Deposits

()

Repayments

() 

Transactions 

 New

Accounts

Renewed

Accounts 

Closed

Accounts 

 Apr  1925 

90 

 

35 

27 

 

 

 May

 462 

11 

280 

88 

 

 Jun

282 

17 

211 

27 

 

 8 

 Jly

206 

127 

252 

37 

11 

 Aug

335 

61 

325 

81 

14 

 Sep

512 

42 

444 

58 

 

 Oct

676 

65 

577 

57 

16 

 Nov

690 

132 

554 

47 

22 

 Dec

352 

496 

313 

20 

 

15 

 Jan 1926

919 

154 

823 

145 

10

11 

 Feb

934 

115 

988 

104 

21 

 Mar

 1,162 

192 

958 

49 

34 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Totals:

               6,620

               1,412

               5,760

                 740 

                    34

                  158

 
By November 1927, the General Manager was considering the Bank's options in this part of the city, and presented the following report to the General Purposes Sub-Committee:
 

In April 1925 a Branch of the Bank was opened at No 260 Summer Lane, on Monday and Saturday evenings, the shop portion of the premises being used for this purpose. The premises were taken on a lease for 14 years at a rental of 45 for the first 7 years and 50 for the next 7 years, determinable at the option of the Corporation at the end of the first 7 years. The dwelling accommodation is sub-let at a weekly inclusive rental of 10/-d.

 

At the time it was decided to set up a Branch in this area the Committee felt it to be advisable to try this district by means of an evening Branch in rented premises rather than purchase premises outright.

 

The Branch, although situate in a poor locality, has proved its usefulness, and has now reached a stage when further development is hampered by the lack of space and the restricted facilities. To carry out alterations to such a poor structure, in order to provide daily facilities, would be a very costly matter, and the limited frontage does not lend itself to such a proposal. The frontage measures 15ft and the banking office itself measures 14ft 6" x 13ft with a space for the public of only 14ft 6" x 5ft 8". The transactions at this Branch average 117 per evening.

 

The progress of the Summer Lane Branch will be realised from the following figures:-

 

 

Year ended

31. Mch.1926

Year ended

31.Mch.1927

Seven months ended

31.Oct.1927

Amount deposited

6,620

10,855

8,529

Amount withdrawn

1,412

  5,793

4,493

No. of transactions

5,760

9,446

6,798

Depositors' balances

 at end of period

5,308

10,664

14,867

No. of open accounts

  at end of period

616

988

1,188

Water Accounts dealt with

1

26

13

Gas Accounts dealt with

-

9

7

Electricity Accounts dealt with

-

9

16

 

It will be seen that there is now a sufficient depositorship amongst this poorer section of the community to warrant proper banking facilities being provided, and I recommend the Committee to instruct Mr Wilde to negotiate for a site either in Summer Lane or Newtown Row, which would meet our needs. Having regard to the locality, it is doubtful whether premises sufficiently well-built to justify structural alterations can be secured, but it ought to be possible to secure premises forming a site on which a suitable building could be erected.

 

The General Manager was instructed to endeavour to secure a suitable site in the Summer Lane area, and eventually the branch was closed on February 10th 1930, and the business was transferred to Newtown Row.
 
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