A savings bank is a bank that focuses on customer savings, as opposed to general banks, which offer a more comprehensive service. This is often done through a savings account. The savings bank takes as little risk as possible when investing the money entrusted. For example, it invests in government bonds, mortgages and private loans to government institutions and large companies.
In the past, the balance was often recorded in a savings bank book, and cash was often deposited and withdrawn. Unlike farmers' lending banks that traditionally also manage savings, savings banks did not use their money to provide loans to their depositors. In the Netherlands, an auxiliary bank was sometimes linked to the savings bank for this purpose.
Savings banks in the Netherlands
The first savings banks in the Netherlands were the utility savings banks that were founded from 1817 by the Th. Nauta and the Society for the Benefit of General. The first bank appeared in Workum (Friesland). Later on, savings banks were also established at the initiative of municipalities. In 1881 the Rijkspostspaarbank was founded, which soon outgrew the other savings banks. In 1907 the latter founded the Nederlandse Spaarbankbond to better represent their interests. After 1960, the savings banks expanded their services by opening checking accounts and granting personal loans and home mortgages, gradually disappearing the difference with the general banks. Partly as a result of this, a merger movement started. For example, the Rijkspostspaarbank merged with the Postbank, the other savings banks created the VSB and the SNS Bank.
G.M. Verrijn Stuart, Bank Politics, 7th edition, Delwel, The Hague, 1956
J. d'Aulnis de Bourrouil, The Development of Popular Wealth in P.H. Ritter (ed), A Half Century 1848-1898, Beijers and Funke, Amsterdam, 1898