The savings banks in Europe were entities that were established in order to capture savings. This set them apart from the credit cooperatives and other mutual banks which aimed to provide better access to credit for their associates. 3 The savings banks, because they were non-profit entities, financed their capital via donations and adopted this institutional set up precisely in order to protect their ‘commercial’ clients, that is, their depositors. This occurred simply because the donations only took place at the outset of the savings banks’ activity. Subsequently they became ‘commercial non- profit’ institutions. As Henry Hansmann indicates, ‘the savings bank industry.