Key To The Bank
The Birmingham Municipal Bank was a savings bank in Birmingham. It was created as the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank by a 1916 Act of Parliament, to raise money to aid World War I. It was the first, and only, municipal bank in the country
Suggested by local politician Neville Chamberlain in 1915, the bank was originally for savings from earnings, earning interest at 3.5%, with most of the income reserved for the government. It opened on 29 September 1916 after resistance from the banks and the Treasury. It had achieved 30,000 new investors by the end of 1917 and was made permanent in 1919.
The name changed to Birmingham Municipal Bank by a 1919 Act which allowed the creation of branch banks. By 1950 there were 66 branches. The bank built by Thomas Cecil Howitt opposite what is now Centenary Square at 301 Broad Street was opened on November 27, 1933 by Prince George. It ceased to be a department of the city council in 1976, becoming a Trustee Savings Bank, which moved to the former central Post Office building in victoria Square.The TSB was privatised, and in 1995 became part of Lloyds TSB. Birmingham City Council bought the building after Lloyds TSb not longer wanted the site and the building has been empty since 2006
With a neo-classical designed exterior, a characteristic of which is its four giant fluted ionic columns, the former bank’s interior contains virtually all of the original features, including a spectacular central banking hall and large boardrooms with traditional hardwood panelled walls.