Birmingham Post – May 18th 1925
Another stage in the progress of the Birmingham Municipal bank was reached on Saturday, when the Lord Mayor (Alderman P Bower) opened a permanent branch at Alum Rock Road, Saltley. There are now seventeen permanent branches in the city.
Prior to the formal opening Councillor C T Appleby, the chairman of the Bank Committee, entertained a number of guests to tea at the Wesleyan Church. He said that since 1919, the work of the branch had been conducted in a wooden hut, and it had become one of the busiest centres of the bank’s activities. Councillor Appleby, on behalf of the committee, presented a key to the Lord Mayor as a memento of the occasion.
The Lord Mayor said of the many institutions of which Birmingham might be proud there was none that had attracted greater interest than the Municipal Bank. He had received many letters asking for information about the activities of the bank. The opening of that permanent branch marked another milestone on the road of the bank’s progress. For some years, it had been difficult to carry on the work of the branch in the limited and unsatisfactory accommodation of a wooden hut, but the committee were able ultimately to purchase two shops and dwelling-houses, and they had been altered and now formed part of the new premises.
The Lord Mayor having expressed thanks to Ansell’s Brewery Company for allowing the hut to be placed on their land without payment said the progress of the branch had been phenomenal having regard to the poor accommodation that had been provided. Last year 37,430 transactions on savings bank business alone took place inside the small building. There were 5,823 depositors with £198,321 to their credit. With the better accommodation now provided the branch, like the other branches, would further develop.
In regard to the bank as a whole, the number of depositors was 168,800, and the amount standing to their credit was £5,692,483. One of the most important of the bank’s activities was the house purchase department. A sum of £1,018,000 had been enabled to enable people to buy houses, and 3,300 people had become house-owners instead of tenants by that method. Everything possible should be done to encourage people to own the houses they live in, as a stake of that description meant a deeper interest in the welfare of the city.
Home safes issued by the bank could be found in 11,000 homes in the city.
The company then proceeded to the new premises, and the Lord Mayor formally opened the branch.