They originated in Europe during the 18th century with the aim of providing access to savings products to all levels in the population. Often associated with social good these early banks were often designed to encourage low income people to save money and have access to banking services. They were set up by governments or by or socially committed groups or organisations such as with credit unions. The structure and legislation took many different forms in different countries over the 20th century.
The advent of internet banking at the end of the 20th century saw a new phase in savings banks with the online savings bank that paid higher levels of interest in return for clients only having access over the web.
Savings bank (Spain)
In Spain, a savings bank ( or informally just caja, , , informally caixa, ) is a financial institution which specializes in accepting savings deposits and granting loans.Banks in Spain fall into two categories: Privately owned banks or bancos and those which are government owned or cajas, which literally translated means pay office, or pay desk). Their original aim was to create the habit of thrift amongst the very poor but they have evolved to compete with and rival commercial banks.
Their trade association is the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorro or CECA).
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Saving \Sav"ing\, n.
Something kept from being expended or lost; that which is saved or laid up; as, the savings of years of economy.
Contend not with those that are too strong for us, but still with a saving to honesty.
Savings bank, a bank in which savings or earnings are deposited and put at interest.
n. A type of financial institution that focuses on retail banking: savings of private depositors, payments, credits and insurances for individuals or small and medium-sized enterprises.
Usage examples of "savings bank".
He had with him a check for slightly less than $5,000, drawn on a local savings bank and made out to himself.
I had placed it in the Missouri Savings Bank in 1899, when we married and settled in Kansas City, by a draft on the First State Bank of Butler (the booming metropolis of Thebes had no banks), where Father had helped me to open a savings account when we carne back from Chicago.
I guess that the Wheeler's Trust and Savings Bank notes were signed with the partnership name per myself, and that checks were drawn out in the same way.
Behind the Postal Savings Bank lies the new boathouse of the school oarsmen's association: boats are being put up on chocks.
On a whim, he had asked for cash at the savings bank, just to see what all that cash looked like.
The inevitable branch of the Danzig Savings Bank, two churches, the milk pool, a spot of color: the mailbox.
Another man who clipped the Sun Sentinel item was Erb Crandall, sitting in the lobby of the Sunshine Fidelity Savings Bank on Gait Ocean Mile.
He went to the Missouri Savings Bank, drew out his account, went next to the downtown office of the Santa Fe Railroad and bought a ticket for Los Angeles with thirtyday stopover privilege at Flagstaff, Arizona, stopped at a stationer's, then on to the Commonwealth Bank and got at his lockbox, removed from it a smaller box heavy with gold.