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Home -> William Cotton -> Everybody's Guide to Money Matters -> Chapter 11

Everybody's Guide to Money Matters - Chapter 11

1. Chapter 1

2. Chapter 2

3. Chapter 3

4. Chapter 4

5. Chapter 5

6. Chapter 6

7. Chapter 7

8. Chapter 8

9. Chapter 9

10. Chapter 10

11. Chapter 11

12. Appendix


THIS institution offers a most admirable, con-
venient, and secure depository for the savings of
the industrial classes and of others. Its value
to the thrifty and timid investor is incalculable,
for here he may rest satisfied that he has abso-
lute security, and the system is so hedged about
with safeguards that it is difficult to discover
any means by which loss can be sustained. The
interest allowed is not high, but reasonable
enough when the perfect security and the facili-
ties offered are taken into consideration.

Money may be deposited by any person over
seven years of age, and by anyone on behalf of
children under seven. Also by married women,
and with this advantage, that such deposits,
unless and until the contrary is proved, are
deemed to be the property of such married
woman; moreover, the fact that any deposit is
standing in the name of a married woman
being _prima facie_ evidence that she is entitled
to draw the same without the consent of her

Deposits may be made by two or more per-
sons, provided no one of them has any other
account in a Savings Bank, and by one person
as trustee for another person. On opening an
account a person has to sign a declaration to the
effect that he takes no personal benefit from any
other account in the Post Office Savings Bank
or in a Trustee Savings Bank, and should this
declaration not be true all sums so deposited
will be liable to forfeiture.

Any person opening an account, that is, de-
positing money with a Post Office Savings Bank,
will receive a book in which the amount is
entered, and the signature of the Postmaster and
stamp of the office affixed to the entry. In
addition to this he will receive from the depart-
ment in London, a few days after, a receipt for
the amount. Once in each year, on the anni-
versary of the day on which his first deposit was
made, the depositor should forward his book to
the Controller of Savings Banks, London, in
order that it may be compared with the books
of the department in London, and that the in-
terest may be inserted in it. A depositor may
add to his deposits at, and withdraw the whole
or any part of them from, any Post Office in the
United Kingdom without change of deposit-
book. It will thus be obvious that all deposit
accounts, although operated upon through the
branch post office, are really kept at the Savings
Bank Department in London, and depositors
are so kept in touch with the department that
complete protection is afforded them.

Any sum from one shilling upwards (but
excluding pence) may be deposited, subject to
certain limits. These limits are ?50 a year, that
is, no more than ?50 will be received on deposit
in any one year, but any withdrawals during the
year may be re-deposited once, and once only.
No more than ?200 in all can be held on behalf
of a depositor. The reason for these limits
apparently is that the bank was created for the
encouragement of saving habits in, and providing
a secure place for, the money of thrifty people
of small means, and not for investment of the
capital of the wealthy. Interest at ?2 10s. per
cent. per annum, which is at the rate of sixpence
a year, or one halfpenny a month, for each com-
plete pound, is allowed on ordinary deposits and
added to the principal; but when, by the addi-
tion of interest or from any other cause, the
deposit is raised to above ?200, interest is
allowed on ?200 only, and the excess over that
sum, when it amounts to ?5, is applied to the
purchase of Government Stock, unless the de-
positor desires otherwise. When a person has
?200 to the credit of his deposit account, he
cannot make any further addition thereto, but
the Post Office will invest this sum, or any part
of it, for the depositor in Government Stock, and
he can then continue paying in money to his
account as before until the sum again reaches
?200. No more than ?200 Government Stock
can be purchased in any one year, and the total
amount of stock standing in a depositor's ac-
count at any one time must not exceed ?500.
The dividends or interest on any Government
Stock is credited periodically to the holder's
ordinary deposit account. When a depositor
wishes to withdraw the whole or any part of his
money, he has to fill up and forward to the
Savings Bank Department in London, a notice
of withdrawal, and a form for the purpose may
be obtained at any Post Office Savings Bank.
He will then receive by post a warrant, on pre-
sentation of which, at any branch Post Office he
may have selected, payment will be made. Pay-
ment by a warrant may be made to another
person on behalf of the depositor, provided the
latter signs a form of authority for the purpose,
which form may be obtained at any Post Office
Savings Bank.

A depositor of the age of sixteen and upwards
may nominate any person to receive any sum
(not exceeding ?100) due to such depositor at
his death. Every nomination must be in writing
on the proper form, which may be obtained from
the Controller of the Savings Bank Department,
in London, to whom the nomination must be
sent during the depositor's life-time.

Where, at the time of the depositor's death,
the amount standing to his credit exceeds ?100,
it will be necessary, in order to obtain payment,
that probate of his will, if any, or letters of
administration (if he has died intestate), should
be obtained in the usual manner.

Where the whole amount standing to the
credit of a depositor at the time of his death,
inclusive of Government Stock, does not exceed
?100, in default of a nomination, or probate,
or letters of administration, payment may be

To any person who has paid the funeral
expenses of the depositor;
To creditors of the depositor;
To the widow or widower of the depositor;
To the persons entitled to the effects of
the deceased according to the Statute of
To any other person establishing, to the
satisfaction of the Postmaster General, a
claim in accordance with the Statutes and
Regulations relating to the Post Office
Savings Bank.

The salient points of the Post Office Savings
Bank have been placed before the reader, but in
connection with the system there is another
organization, for the purpose of purchasing
Government Annuities and effecting Life Insur-
ance, of so varied and elaborate a character that
every possible requirement seems to be provided
for. The "Post Office Guide," which is pub-
lished quarterly, contains voluminous tables and
explanations in respect of this organization, and
full details and clear directions for the guidance
of the public in regard to the Savings Bank.

The growing success which attends these
several institutions is an unmistakable indica-
tion of the value set upon them by the people.
The prudent and thrifty have not been slow to
take advantage of the benefits they offer, not the
least of which are the freedom from doubt and
anxiety they enjoy as to the safety of their
money, and the certainty felt that, though other
concerns may fall and involve their victims in
ruin, here there is absolute and permanent

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