A bank founded in the 1960s which specialises in serving the retail sector has been taken over.
Bira Bank was run by the British Independent Retailers Association in Birmingham and worked with thousands of independent retailers.
Bushell Investment Group, also based in the city, has now acquired Bira Bank and changed its name to Birmingham Bank with the aim of serving independent SMEs across both the Midlands and wider UK.
Bira Bank said it needed “significant investment” to improve its technology, computer systems and offer more banking services therefore opted for a sale.
It is said to be the first time a bank has borne the Birmingham name in over a century.
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Lee Bushell founded Bushell Investment Group since when he has bought or sold more than 40 businesses over the past two decades in sectors such as finance, retail, hair and beauty and construction.
He said: “This acquisition and investment is focused on providing a real banking alternative for Midlands businesses.
“As an entrepreneur, I understand the frustrations many businesses face when dealing with their bank.
“As we roll out the Birmingham Bank, we aim to simplify banking and focus on the underlying relationship between ourselves and our customers.
“In an age of fintechs and large banks, we will sit squarely in the centre and use technology to make banking needs simpler but use experienced people to make common sense-based decisions.”
The acquisition was granted regulatory approval late last year and has now been formalised.
All existing staff and customers will be automatically transferred over to the new company and there are no planned redundancies, according to a statement from Birmingham Bank.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street added: “The launch of the new Birmingham Bank is a great boost for the region’s economy and will play an important role in supporting local business and enterprise.
“Small- and medium-sized businesses are critical to our economy and jobs and having this new bank embedded in the region will help provide them with the financial support that is crucial, now more than ever.”