Birmingham Municipal Bank Home Safe

Contributed by niceginantonic

Birmingham Municipal Bank Home Safe

This is a Home Safe issued by the Birmingham Municipal Bank that was given to me by the manager of my local branch in Erdington, Birmingham just before the branch closed down. It was used by adults as well as children to encourage saving. Each Safe had a serial number impressed underneath which was linked to the saver and the key was kept at the bank so that the Safe could only be opened there. It has a slot for coins on one side and a hole on the other for rolled-up banknotes. It was the brainchild of Neville Chamberlain in 1915. He thought it would encourage thrift and also help the war effort. Royal Assent was given in 1916 and it was called the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank. This changed to the Birmingham Municipal Bank in September 1919. It was unique in being the only bank controlled by a local authority in England. Before this working people usually saved in unregulated savings clubs or by putting their money 'under the mattress' which left them at the mercy of unscrupulous characters and thieves. Using the Home Safe meant that pennies, tuppences and sixpences could be saved every week and then deposited in the bank. Everyone could now save for the future.

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