Banks and bankers began their volunteer service to the savings bonds program the day the program began in 1941. Through the years, they've provided service and information to the public in the sale, redemption and reissue of savings bonds. Bankers, often viewing bonds as a way to gain customers for their own products and eager to nurture new generations of savers, have served as sales and redemption agents as part of a "full-service-banking" philosophy.
Savings and loan associations and other financial institutions also joined in the effort to make savings bonds available to the public.
As of January 1, 2012, paper savings bonds are no longer sold at financial institutions. This action supports Treasury’s goal to increase the number of electronic transactions with citizens and businesses. See the press release.
However, most financial institutions remain redemption agents for paper bonds, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.