Birmingham Post – January 21st 1924
Since its establishment over four years ago, the Birmingham Municipal bank has shown remarkable growth, and now possesses, in addition to the head office at the Council House, no fewer than 18 branches open six days a week and 10 others. On Saturday afternoon a new branch of the bank was opened at No 2, Soho Hill, Hockley.
The Lord Mayor (Alderman T O Williams), who was accompanied by the Lady Mayoress (Miss Williams), mentioned that the Municipal Bank had grown into one of the most important institutions in the city. At the end of December last, 118,637 depositors were enrolled, and every one of these accounts was a live account. No less than £3,682,251 stood to the credit of the depositors, and this sum had been accumulated during a period of unparalleled unemployment. There had been considerable activity also in the house purchase department of the bank, in connection with which 2,030 mortgages had been arranged. That meant that a number of persons had become tenant-owners of their houses with the aid of the bank. Altogether, a sum of £592,435 had been advanced. Thus, the bank had been a contributory factor in easing the anxieties of over 2,000 depositors. The popularity of the scheme was shown by the fact that every day applications were being dealt with. The Corporation, having decided to sell the houses erected under their own housing scheme, purchasers could obtain financial help. With the assistance of the bank, 69 houses had already been purchased on the Farcroft estate at Handsworth, and houses had been dealt with on other estates in the city. The bank, added the Lord Mayor, was a live institution, and he congratulated the committee on having decided to open the branch daily.
Councillor C T Appleby, chairman of the Committee of Management, who presided at the opening function, held at the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel Schoolroom, Soho Hill, remarked that the Birmingham Municipal Bank had become an institution well known throughout the country. There was shortly to be held, he said, a meeting of the Council of the Association of Municipal Corporations, at which a report was to be presented from a sub-committee which had had under consideration the advisability of promoting legislation to empower municipalities of 150,000 inhabitants and over to establish banks similar to that of Birmingham.
The Lord Mayor, who was presented with a key, suitably inscribed, afterwards formally opened the premises, and he was accorded a hearty vote of thanks, on the motion of Councillor H Roberts, seconded by Councillor J Hall.