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Birmingham Savings Bank
Annual Reports: 1827 - 1863
 
Birmingham Municipal Bank
 
The Birmingham Savings Bank (BSB) commenced on May 23rd (or possibly May 24th) 1827. Printed statements relating to the operation of the Bank's 37 years of operation were archived under the heading Annual Reports. These statements take the format of Minutes of an Annual General Meeting (AGM) that incorporates an Annual Report plus Financial and Statistical Statements. In the early years of the Bank little information was given regarding the structure and personnel of the Bank's management, or its hours of business. In common with all Savings Banks, the BSB had a financial year ending November 20th. The AGM was held each year in the January following the relevant November 20th.
 
The following table provides a summary of the Bank's progress from 1827 to 1863.
 Year
Total Deposits
at 20th
November
() 
 Number of
Accounts
at 20th
November
 Annual
Deposits
Increase
(Decrease)
()
 Annual
Accounts
Increase
(Decrease)
 
 Ratio of
Accounts
with a
Balance
less than
20
(%)
 1827
 10,266
 947
 
 
74.6
 1828
 30,229
 1,893
19,963
946
62.3
 1829
 43,882
 2,499
13,653
606
64.3
 1830
 58,262
 3,139
14,380
640
63.0
 1831
 59,957
 3,333
1,695
194
65.3
 1832
 49,143
 2,965
(10,814)
(368)
69.7
 1833
 62,147
 3,587
13,004
622
67.5
 1834
 78,101
 4,471
15,954
884
67.2
 1835
 94,077
 5,192
15,976
721
67.1
 1836
 116,257
 6,203
22,180
1,011
67.1
 1837
 115,953
 6,355
(304)
152
69.4
 1838
 133,997
 7,498
18,044
1,143
69.7
 1839
 133,506
 7,956
(491)
458
72.3
 1840
 153,953
 8,821
20,447
865
70.9
 1841
 172,704
 9,659
18,751
838
70.8
 1842
 187,066
 10,479
14,362
820
71.3
 1843
 214,414
 11,581
27,348
1,102
70.5
 1844
 250,081
 13,186
35,667
1,605
70.0
 1845
 287,526
 14,985
37,445
1,799
69.7
 1846
 322,700
 16,902
35,174
1,917
70.1
 1847
 332,637
 18,034
9,937
1,132
71.4
 1848
 321,165
 18,252
(11,472)
218
73.0
 1849
 347,363
 19,836
26,198
1,584
73.0
 1850
 350,084
 20,629
2,721
793
73.7
 1851
 371,524
 21,654
21,440
1,025
73.7
 1852
 395,822
 22,545
24,298
891
73.1
 1853
 421,574
 23,674
25,752
1,129
72.8
 1854
 432,746
 24,431
11,172
757
73.2
 1855
 430,004
 24,078
(2,742)
(353)
73.2
 1856
 438,131
 24,457
8,127
379
73.2
 1857
 445,684
 24,884
7,553
427
73.1
 1858
 453,978
 25,394
8,294
510
73.3
 1859
 500,915
 27,370
46,937
1,976
72.5
 1860
 553,171
 29,609
52,256
2,239
72.4
 1861
 563,871
 31,238
10,700
1,629
73.5
 1862
 570,197
 31,833
6,326
595
73.8
 1863
 583,461
 33,102
13,264
1,269
74.6
The content of the printed Annual General Meetings varied, but generally contained the following information:
 
(1) Resolutions passed at the AGM (generally thanking the Managers and Trustees, who gave their time without financial reward.)
 
(2) Names of the Bank's Managers and Trustees (1841 - 1863)
 
(3) Names of the Bank's Principal Officers
 
(4) Members of the Committee of Management (1832 - 1862)
 
(5) Names of the Auditors and details of Special Committees
 
(6) The Annual Auditors' Report
 
(7) Financial and Statistical data
 
Reproduced below are the Annual Reports for each of the thirty-seven years. These reports are the statements produced by the Bank's Auditors, and these provide the most details of the Bank for these years. Except for two years, the Auditors consisted of three officers, however these were not independent auditors but members of the Bank's management.
 
The Reports occasionally refer to the difficulties experienced in establishing and running the Bank, and also describe the economic and social situation in Birmingham where this is relevant to the progress of the Bank.
 
The Annual Reports for the first three years (1827 to 1829), and the Bank's final year (1863) are also reproduced within a description of the early history of Savings Banks in the United Kingdom.
 
The Bank operated from an office in the centre of Birmingham:
- 6 Cannon Street (from 1827);
- 9 Temple Row (from 1831);
- 31 Cannon Street (from January 23rd 1851)
The AGMs were held at these offices, except for January 8th 1928 and January 13th 1929, when they were held at the Public Office, Moor Street (see right).
 
Annual Report - Period Ended November 20th 1827
 
The Auditors provide some statistics of the first six months of business. They report on the failure to commence a "Friendly Institution" as resolved at the meeting on April 24th 1827, and refer to the fact that public subscription has covered the initial expenses
Annual Report - Year Ended November 20th 1828
 
Reference is made to the importance of the "Object" of the Bank, which is to provide a secure facility for small savings, although the Bank's attractiveness to people of means has been reduced by the lowering of the rate of interest paid. The Auditors state that the Managers have attended by rotation - their (unpaid) tasks being to assist the Secretary (the only paid employee) with the deposit and withdrawal transactions
Annual Report - Year Ended November 20th 1829
Annual Report - Year Ended November 20th 1830
 
In this year's report, the Auditors refer to the need for larger premises in order to cope with the increasing level of business. Prior to this move to Temple Row, the Bank appears to have been located at 6 Cannon Row. The Report also refers to the impact of a temporary lack of confidence in the Bank ("influenced by the suggestions of ignorant and evil-disposed persons") resulting in withdrawals that cannot then be redeposited if the amount exceeds the annual limit of 30.
BACK TO THE TOP
Continued ....
The Bank commenced business on on May 23rd (or possibly May 24th) 1827. A notice in Aris's Birmingham Gazette provided details of how the Bank was convened:
 

SAVINGS BANK AND FRIENDLY INSTITUTION.

AT a numerous MEETING, convened by circular, and held at the Public-office, Birmingham on Tuesday, April 24, 1827.

GEORGE ATTWOOD, Esq. High Bailiff, IN THE CHAIR,

It was unanimously resolved, Moved by J T Lawrence, Esq. Low Bailiff, and seconded by Thomas Lee, Esq.

That this Meeting cordially approves the measures already taken, with the view to the establishment of a Savings Bank, the benefits of which have been so sensibility felt in other places.

Moved by G Nicholls, Esq. and seconded by C Cope, Esq.

That it is equally desirable to commence at the same time the formation of a Friendly Institution for the benefit of the industrious classes, and making a safe provision in cases of sickness and old age.

Moved by the Rev. J Garbett and seconded by the Rev. G Hodson,

That this Meeting pledges itself individually and collectively to promote and support the distinct objects of the above Institutions, which, if carried into full effect, must prove so advantageous to the town generally, and to the labouring classes in particular.

Moved by J W Unett, Esq. and seconded by G E Lee, Esq.

That the Gentlemen who have hitherto acted as a provisional Committee be requested to continue their services, and be empowered to add to their numbers, and to take all requisite steps for the accomplishment of the proposed objects.

Moved by Mr R Cadbury and seconded by Mr C Shaw,

That when the Provisional Committee shall have drawn up rules and regulations for the government of each of the two Institutions, and matured the other necessary arrangements, they are requested to call together another meeting of the inhabitants of the town and its vicinity, for the purpose of receiving their report and commencing operations under an extensive and liberal a patronage as possible.

GEORGE ATTWOOD, Chairman.

The High Bailiff having left the chair, it was unanimously resolved -

That the thanks of the Meeting be given to the Chairman for his conduct therein.

 
The Public Office and Prison in Moor Street was erected in 1806 for the meetings of magistrates. The Prison was separated from the Public Office by an extensive yard. The premises were later transferred to the Corporation.
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