Annual celebrations help the World Savings Day to retain its relevance and global
By George Gichuki

The 2023 World Savings Day will be  observed globally on 31st of October. The idea of celebrating this important day was conceived way back on October 31st, 1924 during the first International Savings Bank Congress in Milano, Italy.   Professor Filippo Ravizza, an Italian,  is fondly remembered for having declared October 31st, 1924 (the final day of that congress) as the International Savings Day.  Its major objective was to educate people around the world about  the importance of saving their money in banks, as opposed to keeping it in unsafe places like under their mattresses or burying it secretly in holes. 

Over the   years, the themes of the World Savings Day have revolved around the importance of saving money as a means of attaining  a higher standard of living  and  securing   the economy. The theme of this year’s World Savings Day is : ‘Conquer your tomorrow through savings.’

During this day, various organizations (including banks and non-banking  financial institutions) hold a series of activities that are geared towards promoting and creating awareness about the benefits of savings.


The importance  of  inculcating a savings  culture ( at   micro  and macro  levels)   cannot  be  overemphasized.  At the micro level,  through  savings , individuals  and  households are able to accumulate wealth, prepare  for emergencies and finance their education , besides achieving  other  important  financial goals. At the macro level, nations are able to invest in projects and  programmes   that contribute immensely  to their  socio-economic  development.  Nevertheless,  mobilizing  savings  is not a walk  in the park. This is mainly  because  once earned or generated,  money has very many competing  needs.

New Mentor Sacco members opening accounts at Ithanga branch.

According to the Central Bank of Kenya ( CBK) 2022  report,  deposits of customers among commercial banks increased by 12.3 % – from Kshs. 4.5 trillion in December 2021, to Kshs.5.0 trillion in December 2022. This was mainly attributed to the banks’ success in mobilizing  deposits through the agency banking and mobile  banking platforms. Additionally, microfinance banks’ deposits  stood at Kshs. 46.49 billion.  In the vein, the 2022  Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority ( SASRA) report indicates  that the total savings  of the regulated  savings and credit co-operative societies ( Saccos)  at the end of    the said year were Kshs. 620.45 billion.  Regulated Saccos include deposit taking Saccos ( DT Saccos) and non-withdrawable deposit taking Saccos ( NWDT Saccos).  Both categories are regulated  by SASRA.  DT Saccos  mobilized deposits amounting to  Kshs. 522.59 billion, while NWDT Saccos’  deposits stood at Kshs. 97.86 billion. 


For over ninety years, celebrations to mark the World Savings Day  have been spearheaded by the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) and its global members.  In Kenya, Postbank, whose mandate is to mobilize savings for national development plays a pivotal role in these annual celebrations. A household brand, the bank was established 109 years ago.  

It is advisable  for people  to be financially disciplined and to live within their means in order to attain high levels of savings. In that regard, they  should embrace savings as a lifestyle, while  developing   short, medium and long term financial goals and budgeting   towards achieving them.  The budget drawn should be adhered to.

Supporting   communities

By giving their customers exemplary experience, banks are able to attract their savings. Consequently,   WSBI (a voice of savings and retail banks in about eighty countries worldwide) together with its members dedicate the World Savings Day towards the promotion of the virtues of savings.  During this day,  banks demonstrate how they are supporting their local communities by offering them  products and services that  are  affordable  and accessible,  initiating corporate social responsibility ( CSR) programmes,  reaching out  to low income  households as well as the micro, small and medium enterprises.



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