SAVINGS-BANKS. The application of the banking-system to the middle and humbler classes of society was commenced by individual exertions long before the legislature took cognizance of the matter. In 1799 the rev. J. Smith, rector of Wen liver In Busks. as a means of inducing habits of prudeuce and frugality among his parishioners, offered, with two other inhabitants, to receive weekly any sum not less than twopence; and if the amount were not touched before the next following Ohristm is, to add on ? third to it as a Wells or encouragement. In 1810 the rev. II. Duncan established a parish bank friendly society at Rathwell (Scotland). mare resern'iling a modern saving ; bank. A minute account of its organization and anode of operation drew so inee:1 attention to it that by the year 1817 there were 78 establishments resembling it in the United Kingdom.
The first savings.banks acts were passed in 1817, one for England and Wales, and one for Ireland. A. fund, called the fund for the banks for savings, was opened with the national debt commissioners; and into this fund were to be place 1 all.savings-banks deposits as soon as they nulled £59. On these sums the national debt commissioners give £4 lls. 3d. per cent interest (3d. per cent per diem). The managers of the say ings-banks In most cases allowed the depositors 4 per cent, the difference being applied to the working expenses.
the fundamental statute on the subject, has been modified and extended in many ways since. In 1824, as it was found that the benefits of the savings-banks sys tem were reaped by persons for whom it was not intended, an act was passed declaring that the deposits in the first year should not exceed £50; that those in subsequent years should not exceed £30; that no interest would he allowed on any excess beyond A.:200; and 'that no person would be allowed to make deposits at more than one savings-bank. In 1828 an act was passed to give greater security to the depositors. The rules drawn up by the trustees and managers of all savings-banks were to be submitted to e barris ter appointed by the national debt commissioners, and without his approval no savings bank could commence or continue operations. The justices of the peace had also a i veto in the matter; and the clerk of the peace was to keep a certified copy of the approved rules and regulations. The trustees were to receive £3, 16s. Oid. per cent interest (2(d. per cent per diem), and were to pay the depositors not exceeding £3 8s. 51d. interest (2Id. per cent per diem). No depositor was to deposit more than £150; ,but compound interest might accumulate until the total reached £200. Friendly socie
ties and charitable institutions were, however, permitted to invest to the amount of £300.
In 1833 an act was passed to enable savings-banks to manage the granting of small deferred annuities, to be paid for by weekly, monthly, quarterly. or yearly install ments. In 1835 another net extended the operation of the statutes of 1818 and 1833 to Scotland. and enabled existing savings-banks to conform to the stipulations without a necessity for reorganization.
In 1844 a new act made extensive changes in the savings-hanks system, the chief items of which may thus be summarized: Interest allowed by the commissioners to trustees to he reduced to £3 5s. Od. per cent, and to depositors to £3, Os. 10d, per cent (2d. per diem); every depositor's book to be sent once ft year to his savings-bank for examination; the extent of the liability of trustees, managers, actuaries, and cashiers exactly defined; arrangements for making deposits in trust for other persons; annui ties under the act of 1833 not to exceed £30 for any one person, but separate annuities to that amount may be granted to a husband and wife; deposits made by a married woman may be returned to her, unless the husband give notice to the contrary; rules laid down concerning the inheritance of the deposits. of intestate Mid illegitimate per sons; payments 'to the relations of intestate depositors to be made to the Ltext of kin according to the law of Scotland, if in that country. An act passed in 1848 placed a limit on the liability of trustees of savings-banks in Ireland. In 1853 an act placed the maximum and minimum of savings-banks annuities at £30 and £4 respectively; and allowed a husband and wife to purchase a joint annuity, although one of them may have already had an annuity of the full amount. Another act in 1860 authorized the national debt commissioners to invest the moneys received by them from savings-banks in any kind of stock. debenture, or other security that has received parliamentary sanction; and required them to make an annual return to parliament of all such trans actions. The act of 1861, establishing post-office savings-banks, contained provisions for the transfer of deposits from the one kind of savings-banks to the other. By another statute passed iu 1863 the arrangements for deposits in the name of a minor are defined; the order of proceedings is settled whereby any savings bank may be wound up and closed, and the claims of the depositors transferred to the post-office sav ings-banks. Two more recent statutes will be noticed in the concluding paragraphs of this article.