From the Archives: Edinburgh Savings Bank, 24 December 1949

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THE remarkable fact that depositors of the Edinburgh Savings Bank during the years of unemployment such as 1930, 1931 and 1932 were able to make deposits in excess of withdrawals of nearly £500,000 a year, whereas in 1949, a year of high employment, the excess of deposits over withdrawals was practically nil, was commented on by Mr Alexander Harrison, chairman of the bank, at the AGM in the City Chambers yesterday.

Referring to 1949, in one instance all the members of a family had withdrawn their savings to buy a house for one member, and in helping such purposes the Savings Bank was fulfilling one of its functions. “Our funds, however, in the last two years have merely grown owing to the interest credit. It may be that in this present welfare state many people consider that it is unnecessary to save. What I think is more probable is that the burden of taxation is such that our thrifty depositors have not the margin for saving.”