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The history of savings associations in the mutual form of ownership dates back to the formation of the first savings association in 1831-the Oxford Provident Building Association. By buying shares in the association and pooling their money, the members (the depositors who pooled their savings) financed each other's homes. As mutual savings associations evolved, they continued to provide housing finance to their members. Over 100 years later, Congress enacted the Home Owners Loan Act and a federal mutual savings association charter was created.
Today's mutual savings associations still provide mortgages and consumer finance products to their communities and their members. As they have evolved, they have become more like other full-service banks, but they continue to be organized similarly to the first mutual savings association in 1831.
Free from stockholder calls for larger returns, mutual savings associations tend to be small, locally focused institutions. The OCC tailors its exam procedures and off-site monitoring to the unique characteristics and operations of these institutions. Mutuals play an important role in providing financial services to communities across America.
The Mutual Savings Association Advisory Committee (MSAAC) helps the OCC assess the state of mutual savings associations and advises the OCC on ways to help ensure their continued health and viability.
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