At the date of the 1927 Annual Report, the number of branches was 43. At the date of the 1939 Annual Report, the number of branches
had increased to 62, thus incurring significant capital expenditure as the Bank continued its policy of purchasing the land and premises
that it used for its new offices. The major expenditure in this period, however, was on the construction of a new Head Office. Only
fourteen years after the Bank's commencement, a prestigious building was opened on Broad Street, in November 1933.
Of the £207,982
expended on Land & Buildings in this period, £104,032 was reported in 1933 and 1934; and of the total of £35,746, the sum of £13,456
was spent in 1934 on Furniture & Equipment - these amounts reflecting the costs of constructing and equipping the Head Office.
With a very prudent policy regarding the depreciation of capital expenditure, these higher levels of outgoings had a significant impact
on the Income & Expenditure Account.
Another factor affecting profitability was a fall in Interest Margin. In the period
from 1928 to 1933, the difference between interest earned and paid increased from £101,207 to £156,687 - but in the following four
years, varied between £124,760 (1936) and £145,966 (1934). The consequence of higher depreciation charges combined with lower interest
margins had the most impact in the years 1935 to 1937 when the proportion of Interest Margin absorbed by Management Expenses exceeded
In this period, the amount of £207,998 that was charged for the depreciation of Land & Buildings, resulted in a
written down value of only £86,653. Similarly, the depreciation for Furniture & Equipment of £44,758 resulted in a written down
value of just £1,406 at March 31st 1939.
The Bank's volume of business continued to increase at an amazing rate. In the twelve
years to March 31st 1939, Depositors' Balances increased by £21,550,015; Open Accounts increased by 240,403; and the number of annual
transactions increased from 1,364,061 to 3,108,076.
This growth of business was achieved against the background of a period that
included a severe industrial depression. Comments in the following Annual Reports reflected these achievements and trading conditions:
1928:The wonderful record of the Bank since its establishment is very gratifying to the Bank Committee and to the City Council. It must
be no less pleasing to depositors and the public generally. Progress at the rate of £1,000,000 each year is a remarkable achievement,
unequalled by any Trustee Savings Bank in Great Britain whose operations are confined to the area of a single municipality. To have
enrolled 254,433 depositors in the short period of eight and a half years is an accomplishment of which the Bank Committee is justly
proud. The Bank is unquestionably held in high esteem in Birmingham, and its pronounced success serves to emphasise the confidence
of the citizens in this development of municipal activities. Long may the Bank enjoy such confidence.
1932: Our depositors stood
firm during the financial crisis, and the Committee desire to take this opportunity of thanking them for the confidence shown during
that trying time, and sincerely hope that our present depositors and other citizens who are not yet depositors will support the Bank,
not only by saving themselves but by encouraging others to do likewise.
1933: The past year has been one of anxiety to many of
our citizens, and the hope is expressed that the present year may be one of improved trading conditions, with a consequent reduction
in the number of unemployed.
The Accounts of the bank, which are presented with this Report, are assuring. The unsettled conditions
have, no doubt, caused many people to seek a safe place for their savings, and it is natural that they may turn to the Municipal Bank
for such safety. Those who take part in public affairs or in social work must realise the beneficent influence wielded by this Bank,
which renders public service and makes for public stability. The bank does not exist for the laying up of money for the mere sake
of hoarding, but it is nevertheless an advantage to have some money in the Bank to fall back upon. The virtues of saving and thrift
are not obsolete, and a good habit should not be lightly broken off.
1934: The year under review has witnessed a steady improvement
in trade with the consequent drop in unemployment, thus relieving the anxieties of many who have courageously faced the preceding
trying years. It is hoped that this improvement will continue, bringing increased prosperity and happiness in its train.
position at March 31st 1939, therefore, was as follows:
Amount standing to the credit of Depositors: £29,350,236
outstanding, secured by Mortgage of Freehold and Leasehold Estate: £2,431,517
Reserve Fund (Balance of Income over
Ratio of Reserve Fund to Depositors' Liability: 1.39%
Number of Open Accounts:
466,163 (approximately 37% of the population in Birmingham and adjoining areas)