Chapter IX - Savings Banks

  • 1. How business is conducted.
  • 2. How to deposit.
  • 3. How account grows.
  • 4. Limit of deposit.
  • 5. How to draw money.
  • 6. Savings bank revenues.

While of National importance, savings banks are chartered by the respective states in which they exist, and as such are distinctly local institutions.

Unlike the National, the savings bank is not established as a money-making corporation.

The ostensible and actual purpose of the savings bank is to encourage people of small means to save.

The savings bank provides a safe place for the care of such deposits, and it pays such rates of interest on such deposits as are warranted by the earnings of its investments after paying the expenses incident to the proper conduct of its officers.

When a savings bank receives authorization to act, through a charter from the state, the organizers choose a board of directors and the proper officers.

Usually the officers occupying positions of trust and responsibility are required to give bonds for the proper discharge of their duties.


With all the legal conditions complied with, and a suitable office provided, the savings bank is ready for business.

Some savings banks will receive on deposit any sum from five cents to five thousand dollars.

Other banks will not receive less than one dollar at a time, nor more than a thousand.

We have heard of "penny savings banks," but they are rarely chartered, and are organized, only to encourage thrift among children.

Fractional parts of a dollar are not usually reckoned as drawing interest.

Some banks require as much as three, four or five dollars before allowing interest.

Savings banks in the eastern states pay from three to four per cent. In the west it is sometimes as high as six.

Each bank has certain dates at which calculation of interest begins. As a rule this is January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st.

Money deposited at any time between these dates does not draw interest till the beginning of the next quarter.

But never mind the interest.

The best time to make a deposit is when you have the money.

The bank is safer than your pocket.


Count your money carefully and make a memorandum of the amount before giving to the savings bank to deposit.

Hand the money to the officer--usually "the receiving teller"-- authorized to receive it.

The teller writes down the name, age, occupation and residence of the depositor.

If money is deposited in the name of one under legal age, the names of the parents and the birthplace of the minor are also recorded.

The adult depositor must write his name in a book provided by the bank for the signature of clients.

When these conditions are complied with, the depositor receives a memorandum book, known as a "deposit book", in which, with his name and date, is written the amount of his first deposit.

The deposit book must be carefully guarded, for without its presentation at the savings bank money cannot be drawn. You cannot check against your savings bank account, as with a commercial bank.


After the first account is opened the rest is easy.

On the second, as on all subsequent visits, the deposit book, with the amount to be entered, is handed to the receiving teller. He counts the money, makes a record of it for his own use, enters it on your book as a deposit, and hands the book back. That is all.

Whenever interest is due it is written down in the book as if it were a cash deposit.

The interest, if desired, will be paid in cash, but if allowed to remain, it begins at once to earn interest for itself.

Interest grows like a rolling snow ball. On such small beginnings great fortunes have been built.

Savings banks keep a reserve, made up of earnings in excess of interest and all expenses.

This reserve earns money.

The money so earned is reckoned as a net profit, and it may be distributed, and usually is, among its depositors as a "dividend."

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