This section is from the "Practical Banking" book, by Albert S. Bolles.
Their great success will spare your own pockets; their great success will add to the total of the resources which can find profitable employment in this land; their great success will breed a class of people of moderate means, who will look up in the world, and not down. Why should not any man, every man, indeed, who has the capacity for the work, lend something of his time, something of his judgment and knowledge, to the people that need them? He shall lend not chiefly for the sake of the borrower of such services, but for his own sake. I put it upon the last ground that the wisest self-interest of every man of substance will dictate his support of Savings banks in which he is a shareholder just so long as he has any relations with other men and is a citizen bearing the tax burdens of a citizen.
Fifth.—The Savings bank is one of the best safeguards of property.
Trustee service is more agreeable than jury duty. Personal attention in a Savings bank is more economical than constables, police, poormasters, hospitals, prisons.
It is sure that the three-quarters of a million of depositors in Savings banks in this imperial State are arrayed as a solid phalanx against communism, rioting and disorder. The facts are too significant to be disregarded by intelligent men. Ireland, Germany and Russia today should admonish the American citizen, who has property, and who is a leader in business and in politics, that security and progress will be found in the diffusion of property among the great body of people, by training them to its acquisition and maintenance. The Savings bank is a fortress which resists the dangerous classes. It is garrisoned by men who stand actually for their altars and their fires on their own hearthstones. Who of you has not a personal interest in this army, which is perfectly loyal always, and which is not the consumer of your goods, but is itself a constant producer and saver, as well as guardian?
The real Savings bank in our country has done great good. It can come nearer in practice to the ideal. It contains infinite possibilities to this teeming land for future beneficence as respects depositors, and safety and advantage in respect to other men with capital. To bring these institutions, which save money and save men, at once, up to a higher standard of excellence in administration and to a higher degree of utility and results and influence, only demands the moderate attention and service of thoroughly practical men. The Savings institution is benevolent on one side, but it is a business enterprise at bottom, and must be conducted on business principles. When it is so conducted it is one of the most profitable investments that can be established. It does not pay the honest manager in dividends and salaries, but it saves him a vast deal now, and will save his children after him a vast deal more, and will pay for all the service which he can give it.