130 Year of Postal Banking Services celebrated by Czech Post

June 27th, 2013

Czech Post issued a stamp commemorating the 130th anniversary of Postal Banking Services foundation.

The Imperial and Royal Postal Savings Office was established on 12 January 1883 as a collaborative effort of the Trade Minister Felix von Pino-Friedenthal and the Chief of Section Jiri Theodor Coch. The idea of using post offices as branches of the newly established Postal Savings Office proved to be wise.

The architects of the independent Czechoslovakia also saw the importance of postal savings schemes. The formation of Postal Savings Bank on 20 November 1918 was mainly credited to the Finance Minister Alois Rasin. The bank ceased to exist as early as March 1919 and its role was assumed by the newly created Postal Cheque Office as the central payment institution in Czechoslovakia. Following a transformation, postal savings services and the name Postal Savings Bank were reintroduced on 23 September 1930. During the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the bank fulfilled the tasks given to it by the Protectorate government.

Although the bank returned back to its pre-war function in 1945, its activities were stopped as early as 1950 and the accounts and assets were transferred to Czechoslovak State Bank and so-called people's money institutions. The performance of these institutions was disappointing and, on 1 January 1953, they were transformed into state-run savings banks specialized in deposit operations. During a 1967 reorganization project, savings banks merged into State Savings Bank, which held the monopoly for small deposits. As of 1 January 1969, the bank was divided into Czech State Savings Bank and Slovak State Savings Bank; each bank was run by its national finance minister. They further developed their activities during the normalization era in the 1970s and 80s.

With the fall of socialism, the idea of postal savings banks got new life. On 20 November 1990, the deed of foundation of Postal Savings Bank was signed at a ceremony held in the premises of Postal Museum. On 1 January 1994, the bank merged with Investment Bank into Investment and Postal Bank. Following the failure of this bank in 2000, Postal Savings Bank became a part of CSOB. The main channel used by the bank to provide its services is Czech Post's distribution network.