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At the 115 Years of Greek Postal Savings Bank Exhibition, the Saving money, World Savings Day and the World Savings & Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) section documents the Bank's commitment to promote the value of saving.

The value of saving

The Greek Postal Savings Bank has been firmly committed to the idea of saving. It promotes this idea by means of money boxes, wall calendars and diaries.

It celebrates World Savings Day with events and presentations involving school teachers and bank executives.

It awards student essays on the importance of saving money by offering money boxes, passbooks with deposits, gifts, etc.

World Savings Day

World Savings Day was first celebrated on 31 October 1926. It was established by the International Savings Banks Institute (ISBI) in Milan, Italy. The Greek Postal Savings Bank officially joined the ISBI and started celebrating the World Savings Day 10 years later.

In 1994, after repeated restructuring and relocating, the ISBI changed its name to World Savings & Retail Banking Institute (WSBI). Nowadays, it represents 940 savings and retail banks globally. Its headquarters are in Brussels.

Money boxes

The Greek Postal Savings Bank money boxes were first introduced in August 1934. They have become the symbol of saving and wise money management.

Metal money boxes

The metal money boxes of the Greek Postal Savings Bank are an original concept that has managed to outshadow the traditional ceramic piggy banks. Being elegant, unbreakable and engraved with a unique identification number, they have become the symbol for saving money in Greece. They are inexpensive. The key to each metal box is kept at the Bank.

The money boxes encourage youngsters to save money and not give in to consumer temptations. They teach children how to save and use their money wisely.

Every year hundreds of money-box identification numbers win small amounts of money in draws.

The introduction of money boxes to Greece

Money boxes were first introduced to Greece with the Royal Decree of 26 February 1935, which stipulated that special rules had to be implemented in order to encourage savings in schools.

On the occasion of the World Savings Day on 31 October, money boxes were distributed to primary and secondary schools all over Greece.

The Greek Postal Savings Bank introduced the celebration of World Savings Day, an event established by the WSBI. This new celebration encouraged the use of money boxes.

Following the outbreak of WWII, the elegant metal money boxes went out of circulation as a result of the prevailing economic recession. They made a comeback in the 1950s, when the World Savings Day was reintroduced.

A symbol of savings for many generations

The idea of teaching school children how to save money was put into effect in 1900, in the founding decree of the Greek Postal Savings Bank in Crete. The decree was later incorporated into the founding law for the Greek Postal Savings Bank. The idea of school-savings banks was set forth in the bylaws of the Bank.

The first metal money boxes came in two shapes and sizes: large rectangular boxes with a coin slot at the top and a banknote slot on the side, and smaller cylindrical boxes with only one slot at the top. They then took on the oval shape.

This was temporarily replaced by the original rectangular shape. However, rounded rectangular boxes have recently made a comeback.

Many generations of Greek students have nostalgic memories of the competitions for the best essay about saving money that took place on 31 October of every year. The prize was a money box from Greek Postal Savings Bank.