As a first step, a sum was subscribed to bear the expenses, in order that the depositors might have the fullest return for their savings, and to enable the Directors to give premiums to regular contributors, at marriage, &c.
The population of the parish, at that time, would be about 2,400. Any sum from one shilling, and not exceeding twenty pounds, might be placed in the Bank by individuals belonging to the parish; but on reaching the last-named amount, the depositors were obliged to withdraw the same, and secure it elsewhere. In November, 1837, after twenty-two years' operation, the first known balance was made, when it was found' that the deposit fund had reached to £648 2s 2 1/2d
Under slightly modified rules, the population being now about 3,800, the Bank, at the date above given, was brought more prominently into notice, and continued in operation till 11 th March, 1859, or for other twenty-two years, when the accumulated deposits amounted to £7,141 17s 8d - the limit for each account being £30 in place of £20 During this period, the whole transactions amounted to £26,000.
It was now considered proper to carry on proceedings in connection with the National Security Savings' Bank, and, after a constitution was secured, the fund was handed over to that institution. The population would now be about 6,000.
The amount of deposits, limited to £150, and not to exceed £30 in one year, met better the improved condition of the working population, and now there was no limit to the area for operations. At the end of fourteen years (20 th Nov.1873), no less than £27,518 17s. 4d. stood at the credit of 985 depositors.
In each of these epochs the effort has been successful - perhaps, all things considered, equally successful. During the earlier period, low remuneration for labour was the rule; in the middle period a considerable rise had taken place; and in the last, or current period, wages are relatively very high. But the balance of 1873, considered as the result of 58 years' operations, would give a very inadequate idea of the comparatively vast sums saved by a working population, and applied by them, no doubt, judiciously, because, in that time, not less than £62,094 had been withdrawn.
When the Bank commenced operations in 1815, a sum was raised, by subscription, to bear the expense of conducting the Bank free of expense to depositors, and at the balance, in 1837, this sum, after meeting all claims, amounted to £90 . At the reconstruction, in 1837, this sum was taken charge of as a separate account ("Auxiliary Fund") from which, after paying expenses, small bonuses were given every third year to such depositors as had not reduced their accounts in the three preceding years. At the time the bank merged in the National Security system, this fund, after fulfilling its proper purpose, and after paying from it the expenses incurred in securing the connection, furnishing books, safe, &c., for the Bank, on its new footing, there was a balance of,£186 - now increased to £316 17s 11d. (2nd June, 1873).
This sum was tendered to the new establishment, on condition that bonuses would be given to depositors as formerly,- but the certifying barrister would not admit the rule bearing on that point. The fund thus rejected came to be dealt with by the ex-directors of the parish bank, when it was disposed of as follows, namely,
" On duly considering the fittest object to which the Auxiliary Fund could be applied, it was unanimously resolved that it should be set aside, for accumulation, as the basis of a fund for erecting a structure in Carluke for carrying on the business of the National Security Bank, and for other useful public purposes to be at some future time agreed upon; and, in the meantime, the late managers of the Parish Bank, who are custodiers of that fund, are hereby appointed Trustees for the management of said fund, with power to them to keep up the number of said Trustees by election, in cases of death or of non-residence in the Parish."
This resolution was adopted at a meeting held on the 14th day of March,1859. The Trustees alluded to in the above extract, were, at that time, as follows:
Willliam Harvie, of Brownlee.
Rev. John Wylie, D.D.
Rev James Anderson.
Rev. Alexander Neilson.
Wm. Forrest (late Hon. Cashier).
D. R. Rankin (late Hon. Secretary).
This brief history of the Savings' Bank of Carluke is a chapter in social economics worth preserving. Industry, from necessity, is universal; but a limited portion only of the labouring population practise frugality. Frugal individuals are, however, to be found in every sphere of life, as if the result of a natural law. There seems, indeed, to be something like a hereditary tendency to frugality, as there is to prodigality or disease, and it would be interesting to determine the proportion; but it may be assumed, that institutions such as that under consideration help to give a bias in the right direction. “
(Reprinted from the Original – © G G Russell)