1902 Encyclopedia > Saving Banks

Saving Banks




SAVINGS BANKS (Fr. caisses d’épargne; Germ, Sparkassen) are institutions for the purpose of receiving small deposits of money and investing them for the benefit of the depositors at compound interest. They are, in general, managed by benevolent persons, who seek no remunera-tion for their services. They originated in the latter part of the 18th century—a period marked by a great advance in the organization of provident habits in general (see FRIENDLY SOCIETIES). They had been, however, one of the many excellent projects suggested by Daniel Defoe in 1697. The earliest institution of the kind in Europe was one established at Brunswick in 1765 ; it was followed in 1778 by that of Hamburg, which still exists, in 1786 by one at Oldenburg, in 1790 by one at Loire, in 1792 by that of Basel, in 1794 by one at Geneva, which had but a short existence, and in 1796 by one at Kiel in Holstein. In Great Britain, in 1797, Jeremy Bentham revived Defoe’s suggestion under the name of "Frugality Banks," and in 1799 the Rev. Joseph Smith put it in action at Wendover. This was followed in 1801 by the addition of a savings bank to the friendly society which Mrs Priscilla Wakefield had established in 1798. Savings banks were shortly after established in London, Bath, Ruthwell in Dumfriesshire, Edinburgh, Kelso, Hawick, Southampton, and many other places. By 1817 they had become numerous enough to claim the attention of the legislature, and Acts of Parliament were passed for their management and control. Their progress in the United Kingdom since that date is shown by the following statement:—

TABLE

From this date the progress of the post office savings banks has also to be brought into account, statistics of which have already been given under POST OFFICE:—

TABLE

On the 24th April 1886 the funds in the hands of the National Debt Commissioners on account of trustee savings banks were £46,162,515, and post office savings banks £49,881,896, a total of £,96,044,411.

To these maybe added the cash and assets in the hands of the banks and the postmaster-general, which at the beginning of the previous year amounted to £764,804, and also the following investments in stock on account of depositors:—trustee savings bank, £729,522 ; post office savings bank, £2,626,928 ; total, £3,356,450;—making the aggregate funds belonging to depositors in savings banks more than £100,000,000.

The largest savings bank in the United Kingdom is that at Glasgow, as shown by the following table of the 21 principal banks:—

TABLE

From this table some interesting conclusions may be drawn as to the operations of savings banks in the larger towns. These 21 banks have together more than 50 per cent. of the depositors, more than 45 per cent. of the deposits, and more than 65 per cent. of the transactions of all the 411 savings banks of the United Kingdom.

The progress of savings banks and the large amount that the deposits have now reached are evidence of the general fitness of the organization for its purpose. So far as regards trustee savings banks, the provisions of the Acts of 1817 are still to a great extent the same as those by which they are now regulated, though the law has been frequently amended in matters of detail, and twice (1828 and 1863) consolidated. Its main feature is the requirement that the whole of the funds should be invested with the Government through the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt. The local management of the banks has been left entirely to the trustees, who are precluded from receiving any remuneration for their services or making any profit. They are, however, required to furnish the commissioners with periodical returns of their transactions. This blending of private management with state control has had many advantages in knitting together class and class, and in many places the voluntary trustees and managers have been able to render real service to the depositors in various ways. A new savings bank requires for its establishment the con-sent of the National Debt Commissioners and the certi-ficate of the registrar of friendly societies to its rules; but since the opening of the post office savings banks in 1861 few have been established, and many old savings banks have been closed, not being able to offer to their depositors the same advantages as the new system. The savings banks, which numbered 640 in 1861, have thus been reduced to 411, and their capital has been maintained rather by the accumulation of interest than by fresh deposits.

The legislation of 1817, among other inducements to thrift, offered that of a bounty to the savings bank depositor in the shape of a rate of interest in excess of that given to the ordinary public creditor, or—which is the same thing—in excess of that which could be earned by the investment of the deposits in the purchase of Government stock. The interest offered in the first instance was 3d. per day, or £4, 11s. 3d. per cent. per annum ; and that rate continued to be granted until the passing of the Act of 1828 (9 Geo. IV. c. 92). That Act reduced the rate of interest allowed to the trustees of savings banks to 2 1/2d. per day, or £3, 16s. 0 1/2d. per annum, and prohibited them from allowing more to their depositors than 2 1/4d. per day, or £3, 8s. 5 1/4d. per annum, requiring them to pay the surplus, if any, into a separate fund held by the National Debt Commissioners, but bearing no interest. In 1844 the interest to trustees was further reduced to 2d. per day, or £3, 5s. per cent., the maximum to be allowed to depositors being fixed at £3, Os. 10d. Finally, in 1880 the interest to trustees has been reduced to £3, and that to depositors to £2, 15s.

The result of the bonus on thrift offered by the earlier statutes was a loss to the state, which ought to have been made good by an annual vote. Between 1817 and 1828 the difference between the interest credited and that earned amounted to £744,363 ; and this led to the reduction in the rate of interest effected by the Act of the latter year. The deficiency, instead of being paid off, was allowed still to accumulate, and as the price of stock rose and the deposits increased fresh deficiencies arose, so that by 1844 the deficiency, which would have been 1 _ millions by the mere accumulation of interest on the previous £744,363, had become £3,179,930. The reduction of interest in 1844 was about enough to make the fund self-supporting, though savings banks are always, as Mr Scratchley clearly show, liable to loss from the fact that deposits are in excess when the funds are high and withdrawals when they are low ; but the past deficiency was still allowed to accumulate, and it was not till 1880 that the plan was adopted of voting the deficiency every year. Had the accumulated defi-ciency been then liquidated, there would have been no necessity for an annual vote. The bad political economy of the legislators of 1817 has left us this legacy of annual deficits. Had they provided the bounty at their own expense instead of that ol their descendants, there would have been little to be said against it.

The offer of a bonus on thrift was of necessity accompanied by provisions to guard against its being used by others than the classes it was intended to encourage. This was done by limiting the amount that each depositor should be permitted to pay in. In the first instance, in England the limit was fixed at £100 for the first year, and £50 a year afterwards. In 1824 these limits were reduced to £50 for the first year, £30 a year afterwards, and £200 in the whole. In 1828 the limit was adopted which still remains in force of £30 a year or £150 in the whole, allowed by addition of interest to increase to £200 but no further. Attempts have been frequently made to raise the annual limit to £50, but have always been defeated. This is to be regretted, for the limit is of doubtful utility, now that the rate of interest has been so reduced as to prevent loss to the state. It is within the common experience of savings banks managers that persons come to deposit an amount exceeding £30 and are disappointed when they find they cannot do so. The Act of 1882, permitting investment in Government stock, may diminish the mischief.

With the view of showing to what extent savings banks are used by the classes for which they were intended, a return was published for the year 1852, showing (as nearly as could be ascertained) the number of depositors belonging to various occupations, and the amount of their deposits, as follows:—

TABLE

Not two per cent. of the deposits, therefore, either in number or amount, are made by classes whom it may be supposed it was the intention of the legislature to exclude.

When a person comes with his first deposit to a savings bank he is required to sign a declaration, setting forth his name, address, and occupation, that he desires to become a depositor on his own account, and that he has no money in any other savings bank. If this declaration be not true, the deposits are liable to be forfeited ; but it is to be feared that few depositors take the trouble to read what they are signing, or think much about the meaning of it. If the depositor cannot write, the actuary of the savings bank will usually ask him a few questions, such as his age, mother’s maiden name, &c., which may tend to identify him, or defeat any attempt to personate him for the purpose of withdrawal. The enactment that deposits are to be forfeited if the declaration be false was qualified in 1863 by a provision that the forfeiture should not be enforced unless in the opinion of the appointed barrister (now the solicitor to the treasury) the deposits had been made with a fraudulent intention.

The consequence of the determination by the solicitor to the treasury that the deposits have been made with the "fraudulent" intention which the Act contemplates is out of all proportion to the nature of the offence committed, being in fact the forfeiture of all the deposits. The prohibition of double deposits arose when the state was granting a rate of interest greater than that which it earned upon the investment of the money, and it has now ceased to have any real reason whatever, the rate of interest being less than earned. The intention to "defraud" now means merely the intention to evade a restriction that has ceased to be necessary, not an intention to deprive anybody of anything that belongs to him. If it be thought desirable to sanction by the infliction of a penalty the law that these institutions should be used only for the savings of the poorer classes, the loss of interest would be a sufficient if not an extravagant penalty, without forfeiture of the principal. Indeed, the present excessive penalty has, in one remarkable case, defeated itself. This was the case of a depositor in an Irish savings bank, who invested in fictitious names the sum of £2000. The solicitor to the treasury felt compelled to declare that these deposits were made with a fraudulent intention. The registrar in Ireland felt bound to act on this determination, and refused to award payment of the deposits. The High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal refused to grant a mandamus, for the law would not assist a wrongdoer. But parliament itself voted £1000, or half the amount of the forfeiture, the legislature thus providing a remedy for an injustice it had itself committed. Another curious case was that of a young woman, the daughter of a postmaster, who in order that her father might be provided with funds to meet business claims as they became due, purloined money from him and invested it in false names in the post office savings bank kept at his house. In this case, the postmaster himself not being the guilty party, no forfeiture took place.





Among the benefits conferred by the legislature upon depositors in savings banks has been that of exemption from the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts of law in cases of dispute with the trustees. By the Acts of 1817 disputes were to be settled by arbitration. By that of 1828 the barrister appointed to certify the rules of the savings banks (then and until his death in 1870 Mr John Tidd Pratt) was made umpire in case of difference of opinion between the arbitrators. By that of 1844 the arbitrators were abolished, and an original and final jurisdiction was conferred upon the barrister. By an Act of 1876 the functions of the barrister in this respect were conferred upon the registrar of friendly societies. This in effect makes no change in the law, for the offices of barrister and registrar have been always held by the same persons. As early as 1832 it was determined in the case of Crisp v. Sir Henry Bunbury that the effect of these enactments is to oust the jurisdiction of all the superior courts of law and equity, and the authority of that decision has never been shaken or even doubted.

Since 1876 the registrar of friendly societies has made 147 awards in cases of disputes with savings banks, in addition to 169 on disputes with the post office savings bank. As the writer of the present article is one of the two persons in whom this jurisdiction is vested for England, he hopes he may be excused for expressing the opinion that its exercise has been highly beneficial to depositors in savings banks. The costs of the award are limited by treasury warrant to a few shillings, never exceeding £1. The procedure is simple and elastic, and the results are believed to be satisfactory. The central office, acting as registrar, determines law and fact, and adjusts all the equities of each case. Reference to the index to the registrar’s decisions appended to the chief registrar’s report for 1883, or to Mr Forbes’s useful work, will show that many interesting questions of law have had to be determined with regard to so small a matter as the ownership of a savings bank deposit.

Questions between husband and wife as to property including deposits in savings banks are now, under the Married Women’s Property Act, settled by the judges of county courts. Where a depositor, as often happens, is of illegitimate birth, a special provision is made by the Savings Bank Act in favour of his relatives, to whom the solicitor to the treasury may award his deposits. It is open to any depositor to nominate a person to whom the amount due to him at his death shall be payable, provided it does not exceed £100 and the nominee is not an officer or servant of the bank, unless indeed such officer or servant is related to the depositor. This privilege, derived from the Provident Nominations and Small Intestacies Act passed in 1883, is not yet sufficiently known to the bulk of depositors, and has not been used to any large extent, but may be expected in time to become very valuable. It is an extension of a privilege enjoyed by members of friendly societies since 1855, and also by industrial and provident societies and trade unions.

A painful chapter in the history of savings banks is that occupied by the frauds of actuaries, which have caused losses to depositors of not less than £150,000. It too often happens that, where the only supervision is that of honorary officers, a paid servant may commit frauds unchecked over a long period of time. In the case of a savings bank at Rochdale, £71,715 was stolen by the actuary, and £37,433 of this loss had to be borne by the depositors. In one at Dublin the loss was £56,000, and in one at Tralee £36,000. These unhappy events must have greatly discouraged the poor, and checked the progress of savings banks. There is, however, the compensating fact that the savings made by the people of Rochdale since 1849, when the savings bank there was closed, have taken the more favourable direction of promoting the great co-operative enterprises of that town. Savings banks, valuable and important as their benefits are, are still only elementary teachers of providence, and it is well for the workman to learn not merely to save money but to employ his savings to advantage. The stringent legislation as to audit of 1863 has diminished frauds on savings banks, and they are now rarely heard of.1

In connexion with savings banks, and as auxiliaries to them, are penny banks. An ordinary savings bank will not accept a deposit of less than 1s. (or in some cases 5s.) on account of the expense of management. It seems to have occurred to Dr Chalmers to supplement the work of the Edinburgh Old Savings Bank by establishing in a Free Church congregation in Edinburgh a bank, managed entirely by voluntary agency, in which a deposit of 1d. or 6d., or any sum not exceeding 10s., would be received. When the deposit amounted to £1, the owner was requested to transfer it to the savings bank, and the funds were invested with the savings bank to the extent of £100 a year or £300 in the whole. Similar banks, called "territorial savings banks," were established in other congregations. An organization of penny banks has existed in Glasgow for thirty years, and another has been set on foot in Liverpool by the exertions of Mr T. Banner Newton, the able actuary of the savings bank there. On 20th November 1885 there were 173 such banks open in Liverpool, with 17,492 depositors. When a deposit reaches £1 it is transferred to the depositor’s credit in the Liverpool Savings Bank. The amounts thus transferred were £56,122, and £8432 remained to the credit of depositors in the penny banks. The transactions of the year num-bered 677,686 and amounted to £42,194. Penny banks require no certificate from the registrar or other legal organization, but if they desire to deposit more than the limit above mentioned the per-mission of the National Debt Commissioners must first be obtained.

Savings banks for the army were established in 1842, and are now regulated by Acts of Parliament—22 and 23 Vict. c. 20 (1859), 26 and 27 Vict. c. 12 (1863), for the Royal Navy and Marines by 29 and 30 Vict. c. 43 (1866), and for seamen generally by 17 and 18 Vict. c. 104, § 180 (1854), 18 and 19 Vict. c. 91, § 817 (1855), and 19 and 20 Vict. c. 41 (1856). Into these, or indeed into any trustee or post office savings bank, seamen’s wages may be paid under allotment notes by 43 and 44 Vict. c. 16, § 3 and sch. 1 (1880). The amounts in the hands of the National Debt Commissioners belonging to depositors in savings banks of these various classes at 23d September 18851 were:— -

Military savings banks ………£285,631

Naval savings banks…………£175,445

Seamen’s savings banks……..£138,816

Total…………………………£599,892

Voluntary savings banks, unconnected with the Government, have also been established, the most important of which are the Yorkshire Penny Bank and the National Penny Bank. The depositors in these rely solely on the character of the persons by whom they are managed, and in some institutions of the kind have met with severe disappointment in consequence. As they are under no responsibility to the state, these institutions make no returns to parliament, and no trustworthy information as to the extent of their operations can be given.

The railway companies, which are private corporations em-powered by special Acts of Parliament, have in several cases availed themselves of these Acts to take power for establishing savings banks for the benefit of their servants. The Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Savings Bank has been estab-lished 25 years, and has 2443 depositors, Nose accounts amounted on 31st March 1885 to £249,282 ; its transactions for the year were—£66,702 deposits, £33,756 withdrawals, in number 26,596. Six other railway companies have submitted the rules of their savings banks to the registrar of friendly societies in pursuance of their private Acts, and the aggregate of their annual returns for the year 1884-5 is as follows:—

Deposits during the year………£171,246

Repayments……………………£111,399

Balance due to depositors .........£661,177

Number of depositors ...............8,729

Increase during the year ............749

Number of transactions (estimated) ..61,621

Interest credited ........................£24,033

In addition, five other banks had been established by railway companies without reference to the registrar, and these in 1876 received £72,505 deposits and had 4120 depositors. The total deposits in railway savings banks may therefore be estimated at a million sterling.

British Colonies.—The thirteen savings banks in the colony of Victoria had on the 3d December 1882 a capital of £1,970 855. In the following year, however, the withdrawals exceeded the deposits, reducing the deposits to £1,785,990. The number of depositors, however, has steadily increased from 24,187 in 1873 to 70,354 in 1883. Of these 39,404 were males and 30,950 females ; 1618 depositors had balances over £200, amounting to £407,932. The transactions of the year 1883 were—deposits, £1,357,678; withdrawals, £1,610 576. The deposits in the post office savings banks of Victoria also reached their highest amount in 1882, when they were £1,150,391, falling in 1883 to £1,032,132. In them also the number of depositors has steadily increased from 34,360 in 1873 to 65,735 in 1883. Their transactions for the year 1883 were—deposits, £724,028 ; withdrawals, £842,288. Taking the two classes of savings banks together, the number of depositors on 31st December 1883 was 136,089, the amount of capital £2,818,122, and the average for each depositor £20, 14s. The number of depositors per cent. of the population was 15. The rate of interest given to depositors is 4 per cent. The savings bank of Melbourne alone had, on the 30th June 1885, deposits amounting to £1,225,753, belonging to 58,129 depositors. The transactions averaged 1073 per diem.

In New South Wales the depositors in June 1883 were 66,604 or 8 per cent of the population, and the deposits £2,805,856 or £42 per depositor, the rate of interest being 4 per cent. in the post office savings bank and 5 and 6 per cent. in other banks.

In Queensland the depositors were 26,642 or 10 per cent. of the population, and the deposits £1,086,685 or £41 per depositor, the rates of interest being 4 and 5 per cent.

In South Australia the depositors were 46,388 or nearly 16 per cent. of the population, and the deposits £1,500,249 or £32 per depositor, the rate of interest being 4 1/2 per cent.

In Western Australia, on the 31st December 1882, there were 1904 depositors or 6 per cent. of the population, having £24,838 deposits or £13 each.

In Tasmania the depositors in June 1883 were 17,231 or 14 per cent. of the population, and their deposits £380,343 or £22 each, the rate of interest being 3 1/2 per cent. in the postal banks, and slightly higher in the general savings bank.

In New Zealand the depositors were 69,966 or 13 per cent. of the population ; and their deposits £1,687,739 or £24 each. The rate of interest is from 4 to 5 per cent.

The general total for the Australian colonies is 365 828 depositors or 12 per cent. of the population, and £10,304,145 deposits, which is £28 on the average for each depositor.

In the Dominion of Canada, according to a paper read at the Montreal meeting of the British Association by Mr J. C. Stewart, the old established savings banks in the cities of Montreal and Quebec have £2,000,000 sterling, belonging to 42,297 depositors ; the post office savings banks established in 1868 have £2,650,000, belonging to 66,682 depositors ; and the chartered banks also receive deposits on the savings bank system.





United States.—According to the report for 1884 of Mr Henry W. Cannon, comptroller of the currency, there were on the 30th November 1882 in the United States of America forty-two savings banks, with capital amounting to £800,000 ($5=£1) and having £8,700,000 deposits, and 625 savings banks without capital having £192,000,000 deposits. In the six years 1876-82 the number of savings banks with capital had increased from twenty-six to forty-two, but their capital had diminished 20 per cent., while their deposits had increased 16 per cent. On the other hand, the number of savings banks without capital had diminished from 691 to 625, but their deposits had increased 14 per cent. Of the aggregate deposits, the 422 savings banks in the New England States held £87,500,000, the 179 in the Middle States £98,500,000, the 9 in the Southern States £660,000, and the 57 in the Western States and Territories £14,000,000. In the latter two groups the banks with and with-out capital are nearly equal in number and in the amount of deposits ; in the former two groups banks with capital are the exception, being only one in sixty of the whole.

Saving banks in the United States differ from those in the United Kingdom in the manner in which their funds are invested, not being limited to Government securities. Thus, of the 200 millions sterling of deposits only 46 millions was invested in United States bonds, viz., New England, £6,900,000 ; Middle States, £35,800,000; Western States, £400,000; Pacific States and Territories, £2,900,000.

A statement of the aggregate resources and liabilities of 636 savings banks in 1884 (£236,000,000) is furnished, showing:—

Deposits………………………………………….£215,000,000

Surplus fund………………………………………17,000,000

Undivided profits…………………………………3,000,000

Other liabilities……………………………………1,000,000

Provided for as follows:-

Loans on real estate………………………………72,000,000

Loans on personal and collateral security ………..28,000,000

United States bonds………………………………39,000,000

State, municipal, and other bonds and stocks…….44,000,000

Railroad bonds and stocks………………………..10,000,000

Bank stock………………………………………..8,000,000

Real estate………………………………………...7,000,000

Other assets………………………………………14,000,000

Due from banks…………………………………..11,000,000

Cash………………………………………………3,000,000

According to the report of the comptroller for 1885 (which has reached us since the above was written) the deposits have in-creased during the year to £220,000,000, and the total assets to £240,000,000.

In New England the depositors number 36 in every 100 of the population, and the average amount of each account is £66, or £24 for each individual if distributed over the entire population. In New York State the deposits would give £17 per head if distributed in like manner.

The following table gives for each State the number of depositors, and the amount and average of deposits, in 1885:—

TABLE

Brazil.—The savings banks of the empire of Brazil have been made instruments in the gradual extinction of slavery in that country. Since 1871 each slave is allowed certain hours a week to labour for his own benefit, and when his earnings deposited in the savings bank amount to a given sum the remainder of the price of his emancipation is provided by the state out of public funds. The children of slave mothers, who since 1871 have been born free, are also encouraged to place their earnings in school savings banks. By a law passed on the 14th August 1885, immediate enfranchisement at the cost of the state is conferred upon slaves employed in agricultural establishments, upon condition of their remaining with the master at fixed wages for five years and paying half the wages into the savings bank towards repayment of the price paid for their freedom.

Continent of Europe.—In several of the countries of Europe savings banks have been established and are flourishing. In Prussia the first savings bank was founded by the municipality of Berlin in 1828. In 1838 they were taken under the supervision of the Government. Their formation has been much aided by an association called the "Central Union" for the good of the industrious classes. A great variety of investments is permitted. In 1874 there were 979 banks, having 2,059,000 depositors and £49,315,000 of deposits, being a little over £2 per head of the population. Besides savings banks, there are the credit banks established by the late Herr Schultz-Delitzsch, which perform a similar function.

In France 79 per cent. of the deposits are invested in the public debt, on which interest at the rate of 4 per cent. is guaranteed, but the savings banks are private institutions ; 19 per cent. Are invested in mortgages and 2 per cent. on municipal securities. Post office savings banks also exist. The average amount of each deposit account is smaller than in England, 79 per cent. of the deposits being under £20 as against 63 per cent. The following statement shows the progress of savings banks in France since their first regulation by law in 1835:—-

TABLE

The depositors now number nearly five millions. Savings banks were greatly affected by the Revolution of 1848 and by the Franco-German War. Previous to the former event, the deposits had risen on 31st December 1845 to £15,822,164, falling on 31st December 1849 as low as £2,965,802. In the early part of 1870 they had risen to £28,800,000 or 15s. for every individual of the opulation. The separation of Alsace and Lorraine reduced the deposits. Postal savings banks were established in 1875, but only as auxiliaries of the ordinary savings banks ; school savings banks, mainly through the enlightened exertions of M. de Malarce, were commenced in 1874. These are now established in 23,222 schools, have 488,674 depositors and £451,402 deposits. A national postal savings bank was instituted on 9th April 1881, and was extended to Corsica on 1st March 1882 and to Algeria and Tunis from 1st April 1884. On 31st December 1883 it bad already 374,970 depositors and £3,097,200 deposits. The Paris savings bank had on 31st December 1882 440,728 depositors and £3,513,433 deposits.

In Italy, at the end of 1872, 282 savings banks were in existence, of which 142 were principal banks and the rest branches. With two exceptions, all are managed without profit to the promoters or guarantors. In 1825 there were 11 savings banks in which £108,000 had been deposited ; in 1850 the deposits amounted to £1,600,000, and in 1872 to £17,860,000, belonging to 676,327 depositors. Of these funds, 21 per cent. was invested on mortgage, 10 per cent. only in the public debt, 11 per cent. in obligations of local authorities, 12 per cent. in shares and bonds of companies, 16 per cent. in bills of exchange, 15 per cent. in loans on public funds and commercial securities, 11 per cent. in current accounts, and 4 per cent. otherwise. The average rate of interest allowed to depositors is 4 1/2 per cent. The transactions of the year were—deposits £7,911,000, withdrawals £6,514,000. The system of school savings banks has been adopted in many communes. In addition, deposits are made in popular banks and other establishments of credit, and post office savings banks have also been established.

In Denmark Savings banks are private institutions, but must not be managed for profit, nor invest in foreign securities ; and they are required to make annual returns to Government. In 1860 the amount of deposits was £3,221,000 ; by 1871 it had increased to £6,651,031, and by 31st March 1881 to £12,707,521. The savings banks have increased in number during the ten years from 188 to 446, and the depositors from 285,991 to 492,296. Twenty-six banks have more than £100,000 deposits. The oldest and largest is that of Copenhagen, established 1st May 1820, having £2,320,892 deposited, which has increased from £832,874 in the ten years. The number of depositors has increased from one in six to one in four of the population, and the deposits from £3, 14s. 8d. to £6, 9s. per head of the population. The transactions of the year ending 31st March 1881 were—deposits £8,141,627; withdrawals £6,702,470. Of the deposit accounts, 74 per cent. are under £23 and 15 per cent. above £23 and under £43. One half of the funds are invested on mortgage. The reserve funds of the banks had increased in ten years from £226,329 to £665,597.

The following are statistics of savings banks in other European countries as published by the Italian Government a few years ago:—

TABLE

M. de Malarce has obtained for the Dictionnaire des Finances some more recent statistics, the details of which have not yet reached us, but from information be has been so good as to communicate we infer an increase in deposits during the last 10 years In twelve European states of £123,000,000,—making the aggregate of savings bank deposits for all countries, as far as ascertained, £725,000,000. (E. W. B.)


Footnotes

329-1Since the above was written the disclosure of frauds of long standing in the Cardiff savings bank has taken place.

330-1For this information we are indebted to tne authorities of the National Debt office.



The above article was written by: E. W. Braddock, F.S.A., Registry of Friendly Societies, London.



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