When a depositor wishes to draw out money he takes his pass book to the paying teller's window and states the amount desired. Some banks have a blank form of draft which the depositor fills out, or the teller may fill it out for him, and the depositor signs it or makes his mark. Unless the depositor is well known to the teller reference is made to the original application record to establish his identity and signature. The date and the amount drawn are entered in the pass book, which is then handed back with the money to the customer. In some banks a check is placed upon the clerks by having one clerk receive the withdrawal application and a clerk at another window pay out the money, the latter calling the depositor by name and asking him to state the amount drawn. When a depositor draws out his whole deposit the account is closed and the pass book is surrendered to the bank. The primary purpose of the savings bank is to collect the small and scattered savings of a community and to invest them. in safe and profitable channels for the benefit of the depositors. It seeks to keep as large a proportion of its funds invested as is consistent with safety. It will therefore keep no more cash reserve than is necessary to meet current payments.
The investments of savings banks are carefully restricted by law and are usually long-term loans which cannot be converted quickly into cash. Savings banks therefore usually require notice some time in advance when a depositor wishes to withdraw money. Each bank makes its own rules as to the notice required. Many banks permit the withdrawal of small sums without any notice. Where notice is required it varies from ten days to three months, depending usually upon the amount to be withdrawn. The practice of requiring notice of withdrawal is beneficial to the depositor and almost essential to the bank. A depositor is often deterred from withdrawing his savings for some temporary or imaginary need by the notice rule. It also gives the bank time to realize on some of its investments and obtain cash to meet any unusual demand. Sometimes an idle rumor starts a "run" on a bank which subsides in a few days when the bank enforces the notice rule. More commonly, however, when a run starts, the bank tries to secure funds by borrowing from other banks and to allay the fears of its depositors by paying all demands made upon it. When frightened depositors find that they can get their money they are generally satisfied to leave it on deposit.