ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2016 - (Page 29)

FEATURE > SAVINGS BANK BICENTENNIAL Where 'Habits of Economy' Were Shaped Born two centuries ago, savings banks burnished the reputation of the banking industry and taught the virtue of thrift. BY EVAN SPARKS O n a chilly November day in Philadelphia in 1816, Condy Raguet was walking down Chestnut Street, mulling over reports he had read about the thennovel savings bank model in Great Britain for helping the poor. Raguet-a rakishly handsome 32-year-old merchant, Caribbean traveler and literary man-ran into a few friends along the way and asked them if they had heard of the concept. Without stopping for a reply, he implored them: "Would you unite with me in the endeavor to establish one?" The friends had heard of the savings banks and instantly wanted to cooperate with Raguet, resolving to meet again in five days' time. On Nov. 25, Raguet and 11 other prominent young Philadelphians hammered out the principles of the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society. By Dec. 2, the bank was open for business at the office of one of the founders- less than two weeks from conception to operation-with deposits being accepted on Mondays and withdrawals being paid out on Thursdays. With five dollars, Raguet's African- American manservant, Curtis Roberts, became the bank's first depositor. Like Raguet, Bostonian James Savage was also 32 and had cut his teeth in Caribbean trade-this time selling blocks of New England pond ice to cool-craving islanders. Savage read a report from the London Provident Institution for Savings, and he decided a similar savings bank would be of great benefit to Boston, "by supplying to the industrious poor a place of safe deposit for their savings," as a biographer relates. "In this way, habits of economy would be gradually formed and encouraged." Savage spread the word among his peers, and not two weeks after the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society opened for business, 48 of Boston's leading men incorporated the Provident Institution for Savings on similar principles. It opened for business early in 1817. Meanwhile, in 1816 New York, the great philanthropists Thomas Eddy and John Griscom had also gotten word of the aba.com/BankingJournal | ABA BANKING JOURNAL 29 http://www.aba.com/BankingJournal

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2016

PRESIDENT'S VIEW
UPFRONT
LEGAL BRIEFS
PICTURE THIS
COVER STORY
CECL FROM THE INSIDE: A CONVERSATION WITH FASB’S RUSSELL GOLDEN
WHERE ‘HABITS OF ECONOMY’ WERE SHAPED
HAT TIPS
CARD-LINKED REWARDS GIVE BANKS A COMPETITIVE EDGE
MARKETING
CYBERSECURITY
BANK-INSURANCE SALES
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
FROM THE STATES
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2016

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