The Study of the relationship between savings banks attached to parent associations had not been a major theme in the research on savings banks. These relationships are bound to be tense, as banks are ran bearing in mind athe maximization of the return of capital, whilst the parent associations have very different, non-profit goals, be they philantropic mutualist or other. The present paper contributes to fill this gap by analyzing one such case: the savings bank (Caixa Económica ) attached to the Portuguese mutualist institution Montepio Geral. Since economic and financial crises provide a stern test to these institutions, this research is focused on two crises that affected the Portuguese banking system in 1876 and 1891. As this study will show, the connection of the Caixa Económica with a non-profit association enhanced its solidity and credibility during those testing moments. Yet, this connection works both ways, as the activity of the Caixa Económica was a major force in reforming the risk-averse and conservative structures of the Montepio
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PISTOLA (Jorge Renato). Growing from Crises. The Portuguese Savings Bank Montepio Geral in the nineteenth-century. Research Essay presented at the Academic Award 2012. (3rd prize winner).