Savings Office

Savings Office

The Soviet Union instituted the State Labor Savings Offices to store the savings of the population. They were outlets of the USSR State Bank where domestic fund transfers between companies and payroll cash withdrawals were done. International transactions were handled by another bank.

The Savings Office was defined in the Soviet dictionary as: “a credit establishment whose primary purpose is to attract free cash assets of the population.”

Since consumer credit was an unknown, the government borrowed from the population through the Savings Offices. The transactions (deposits, withdrawals and accrued interest that stood at three percent for decades), all in cash, were written into the savings book by a clerk. This was the only way to invest personal savings.

The Savings Offices also accepted payments for utilities. Wages were paid in cash. Purchases were made in cash, as well, whether paid in full or in installments, the latter option introduced in department stores in the mid-1960s.

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