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1841-1895

Russian Emperor Nikolai I orders the formation of savings bank outlets at the Moscow and St. Petersburg treasury houses with his decree of 1841 – the year marking the inception of Russia's oldest bank, Sberbank.

Royal court counsellor Nikolai Antonovich Kristofari becomes the first customer of the nation's first bank, depositing 10 roubles, a small fortune by the standards of the time, to become the holder of savings account passbook number 1.

The Russian authorities launch a far-reaching awareness campaign to educate the public about the benefits of keeping their hard-earned savings in a bank. The message hits home: while in 1842 the savings bank outlets serve an average of 70 depositors a day, this figure soars to over 500 by 1860.

From day one, Sberbank of Russia makes it its policy to serve all social groups, mobilising deposits from peasants, the gentry, merchants, the military, officials and even the clergy.

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