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Savings in a world without interest

Savings in a world without interest
Date: 27/05/2016 - 27/05/2016
Location: WSBI-ESBG Offices, Brussels, Belgium

​​The workshop provided a forum for extensive discussion on innovative research covering the history of savings and retail banks as well as savings in general.  



Today, the savings and retail banks face a challenging economic and financial environment, marked by low interest rates, increased volatility, and new economic and demographic risks. The 2016 Financial History Workshop will focus attention on the impact of low interest rates on the savings behavior and its influence on the savings & retail banks throughout history.  

Proposals dealing with any of these aspects, regardless of country or period in time are welcome. 

The authors of each selected paper were able to present their research work during a 20 minutes lecture during the workshop. The rest of the session was devoted to discussion among all workshop participants.  ​



1. New Savings Incentives – The impact of monetary and fiscal policies in periods of recession

Can we compare the fiscal and monetary policies of the 1930s and 1970s with the current policy of low interest rates? Did the national interest rate policies impact the fragile balance between savings and investments? Which policies have proven to be successful to promote savings and gain economic growth and financial stability?  Did the measures taken by the central banks stimulate the real economy? And what about the current measures? 


2. What should we do with our money?  

Why people still save during periods of low or negative interest rates? When would customers opt for more risky investments? Historically people save for a 'rainy day' in other words providently. Do they do the same today?


3. Savings and retail banks and low interest rates in an historical perspective 

Do periods of low interest rates, low inflation and weak economic growth influence the behavior of the savings and retail banks? How does the economic and geopolitical environment impact the financial advice bank staff give their customers? Is there room for a stable financial market in an environment of low interest rates? Do savings institutions advise customers to save for anticipated expenditure where prices are not elastic downwards, such as education, long term care and so on?

Questions and more information: 

Please e-mail the workshop-organiser, Nancy Lockkamper, WSBI-ESBG, at