October 31-World Savings Day

World Savings Day

The World Savings Day was established at the International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks) in Milano, Italy on October 31, 1924. The Italian Professor Filippo Ravizza declared this day the “International Saving Day”. Also called ‘World Thrift Day’, the World Savings Day was established to promote savings all over the World. Originally the idea was to educate families, children and thereby the whole society to save and particularly convince them of the importance of saving.

Today, banks and financial institutions around the world, celebrate World Savings Day to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of savings both for households and for the country’s economy. They conduct lectures highlighting topics such as: Why saving is important, the history of World Savings Day, the role of savings in the national economy and how every depositor contributes to its development.

The idea of World Thrift Day was not born out of nothing. There had been some examples of days that were committed to the idea of saving money in order to gain a higher standard of life and to secure the economy. For example: In Spain the first national thrift day was celebrated in 1921. In Germany, the confidence of people in savings had to be restored since many of them had lost their savings in the German monetary reform of 1923.

Sparefroh and World Savings Day
The most well-known element of the World Savings Day is the “Sparefroh” in Austria. Sparefroh, the official mascot of saving, is particularly active on the World Savings Day. ‘Sparefroh’ literally means ‘Happy Saver’, or rather “Save Happily!” In the 1970s, the ‘Sparefroh-Journal’, an educational magazine for younger people, reached a circulation of 400,000 copies.

At all branch offices in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, banks usually offer customers a “Sparefroh” PEZ candy dispenser, a “Sparefroh” coffee mug, pen, writing pad, etc.

World Savings Banks Institute
The World Savings Banks Institute is the only global representative of savings and retail banks. WSBI represents savings and socially committed retail banks or their associations from 90 countries. The Institute works closely with international financial institutions and represents its members´interests at an international level.