A wave of savings bank foundations began across most of
Europe in the early 19th century. It led to a breakthrough of the savings bank
movement within a very short period of time. Although the founders in the
involved countries particularly used the existing British savings banks as
models, national differences regarding the organisation of the institutions and
the investment of savings appeared relatively quickly. This had similar effects
like fundamental decisions. They were later rarely changed and they shaped the
development of the savings banks for decades to come.
The aim of this study is to shed light on the decisions that
were taken during that period and their consequences from an international
perspective. As will be shown by the findings, the different development of
savings banks within Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries can be at least partially
explained. For this purpose, the emergence of the savings bank system is outlined
below at first. Subsequently, the fundamental decisions are explained, followed
by their direct and long-term impacts.
The complete research study is available in ePub or PDF format:
PROETTEL (Thorsten)(2016): Path dependencies in european savings banks: the impact of fundamental decisions during the wave of foundations 200 years ago. ESBG Research series, 18 pp.