Savings banks originated with a vocation for strong solidarity with their local communities. To preserve this link with local stakeholders, savings banks have developed a broad set of accountability mechanisms that involve local authorities and municipalities in their organisational activities. To explore the role of accountability in preserving their community bonds over time, this study investigates the 165-year history of the Verona Savings Bank from its founding in 1825 to the establishment of the homonymous bank foundation in 1991. The evolution of the accountability mechanisms depicts a resilient focus on including local stakeholder representatives in governance matters rather than allowing transparency to decrease over time. This confirms the need to broaden the concept of accountability, particularly when considering the pivotal role played by boards in enhancing accountability to local communities.
Keywords: Accountability mechanisms, governance, community banks, savings bank, stakeholders.