Gifts Today magazine

bira bank celebrates 60 years of business

From hire purchase company to the UKs only trade association bank, bira bank will celebrate 60 years of supporting independent retailers this September

bira bank will celebrate 60 years of supporting independent retailers this September, coinciding with record levels of lending to independent retailers.

The association’s members are continuing to experience growth, with a year on year sales increase of 2.35% revealed by bira’s quarterly sales monitor, a survey of independent retailers from a number of different sectors. With confidence high and anxiety falling independent retailers are investing in their retail businesses and preparing to engage customers in new ways.

Frank Burton of bira bank said: “Thanks to members bira bank has continued to go from strength to strength, recording a turnover of over £1million in June on the back of unprecedented growth in equipment loans. This is the second time turnover has gone over the £1million barrier this year and I believe this is testament to the service provided to members, who are paramount in all we do. I am delighted that members are turning to us as their first port of call.”

bira bank is aiming for another record breaking year on the back of introducing new member-only services such as mortgages. bira bank has teamed up with The Mortgage Broker Ltd (TMBL) to offer members free tailored advice and access to exclusive mortgage deals which will help those looking to expand their premises.

John Collins, Managing Director of bira bank said: “This is a real first for bira bank and is something that our members have been asking about for some time, so we are thrilled we are now able to offer a mortgage service as an Introducer.” He went on to add “There have been some tough economic times in our 60 year history but we are proud to have weathered the storms and emerged stronger than ever. It is our privilege to serve independent retailers and offer support where other banks have failed to do so.”

The bank is just one of the services available to members of the British Independent Retailers Association, along with discounts on auto-enrolment pensions, legal advice, card processing, product supply and business banking. More information about the services available to independent retailers can be found at with more specific information about bira bank at

About bira bank
bira bank is the only trade association owned bank in the UK. As part of the British Independent Retailers Association they specialise in products that benefit independent retailers both commercially and privately.

The British Independent Retailers Association (bira) is the voice of independent retailers. Its aim is to provide first class support, business services, free advice and specialist representation to its members helping them to trade more effectively, profitably and sustainably for the future.

bira retail membership is open to independent retailers across the UK from single retail outlets to small chains, department stores, dealers and merchants, as well as associate membership for suppliers, manufacturers and distributors to the independent retail sector.

bira membership connects you with a national network of like-minded retailers, gives you access to free expert knowledge, support and access to a wide range of specialist business services, saving you valuable time and money.

It is passionate about championing independent retailers in the UK and is continually evolving in response to the changing retail world and the needs of its members. In a highly competitive market, it helps independent retailers stay one step ahead.

The British Independent Retailers Association comprises six divisional trade associations across a range of industry sectors. Through dedicated committees, you have an industry voice and benefit from the sharing of specialist trade and product knowledge.
• British Hardware Federation (BHF)
• Fashion Association of Britain (FAB)
• Cookshop and Housewares Association (CHA)
• British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA)
• Pet Product Retail Association (PPRA)
Home Decoration Retailers Association (HDRA)

Social Links