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A savings bank is a financial institution whose primary purpose is accepting savings deposits. It may also perform some other functions.

In Europe, savings banks originated in the 19th or sometimes even the 18th century. Their original objective was to provide easily accessible savings products to all strata of the population. In some countries, savings banks were created on public initiative, while in others, socially committed individuals created foundations to put in place the necessary infrastructure.

In 1914, the New Student's Reference Work said of the origins: [1]

France claims the credit of being the mother of savings banks, basing this claim on a savings bank said to have been established in 1765 in the town of Brumuth, but it is of record that the savings bank idea was suggested in England as early as 1697. There was a savings bank in Hamburg, Germany, in 1778 and in Berne, Switzerland, in 1787. The first English savings bank was established in 1799, and postal savings banks were started in England in 1861.
The first chartered savings bank in the United States was the Boston Provident Savings Institution, incorporated December 13, 1816. The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society began business the same year, but was not incorporated until 1819. In 1818 banks for savings were incorporated in Baltimore and Salem, and in 1819 in New York, Hartford, Newport and Providence.

Nowadays, European savings banks have kept their focus on retail banking: payments, savings products, credits and insurances for individuals or small and medium-sized entreprises. Apart from this retail focus, they also differ from commercial banks by their broadly decentralised distribution network, providing local and regional outreach.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Banks". New Student's Reference Work. 1914. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_New_Student's_Reference_Work/Banks.  , via Wikisource
  • 'Liberalisation of financial markets in New Zealand' Arthur Grimes, Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, 1998 [1] Retrieved Feb. 11, 2006.
  • Tiwari, Rajnish and Buse, Stephan (2006): The German Banking Sector: Competition, Consolidation and Contentment, Hamburg University of Technology (TU Hamburg-Harburg)
  • Brunner, A., Decressin, J. / Hardy, D. / Kudela, B. (2004): Germany’s Three-Pillar Banking System – Cross-Country Perspectives in Europe, Occasional Paper, International Monetary Fund, Washington DC 2004.

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