The decree clearly formulates why such offices are needed: “For granting common people an opportunity of saving in a sure-fire and advantageous way.” The first such office opened its doors on March 1, 1842 in Saint Petersburg: windows, counting frames, an icon and portrait of the emperor. The first person to enter the office was Nikolay Kristofari, employee of the Loan Treasury. He made an installment of 10 rubles, the maximum amount per one day. Other clients followed. There were 76 of them, as was recorded in the annals. The amount deposited on the first day was also recorded – 426.5 rubles. The initial deposit’s amount was set at 0.5 rubles. Later, depositing copper coins was also allowed. The clients would have to buy special stamps for coins and stick them to a card. Each ruble accumulated in such a way was deposited to a saving book, almost a copy of the Soviet one, yet featuring two-headed eagle. The maximum deposit amount was limited to 300 rubles in order not to let the rich people turn the office into a deposit bank and embarrass the workers with their salary incomes. By the threshold of centuries, the saving offices had been opened at railway stations, post offices, factories and even schools. A new lease on life was granted to the saving offices during the period of NEP (New Economic Policy). The history accurately preserved the name of first depositor who brought his money to the first Soviet saving office opened in Petrograd in 1923. The client’s name was Alexander Zhelonz, worker of Electrosila Plant, who deposited his bonus for meeting the production and quality target. The savings book was issued to him immediately. The only thing was that it had no image of two-headed eagle on it.
On November 11, 1841, Tsar Nikolay I issued a decree establishing saving offices in Russia