In this paper, we offer an alternative to class-based studies of saving behavior by using individual-level ledger records from accounts opened in 1830 in the Limehouse Savings Bank, London. Our analysis suggests that such banks served a valid financial purpose for a much wider constituency of savers than the targeted “industrious poor.” True gaming of the system by the middle classes appears to be relatively limited, and instead depositors were using accounts for a variety of means and motivations. We suggest that the contemporary consternation around class was misplaced and that we can better understand and predict depositor behaviors through analysis of transaction data.
- savings banks
- savings behaviour