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Banking on Change: Information systems and technologies in UK High Street Banking, 1919-1979

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo and Peter Wardley ()

Economic History from EconWPA

Abstract: This paper explores the automation of the supply of financial services on the British High Street. Its aim is to provide an historical perspective to highlight the longevity of organisational change in the financial sector and to emphasise its remarkable continuity: UK clearing banks and building societies had very specific problems and adopted particular responses. It also indicates the close correspondence of organisational change with assessments by senior bank staff of both technological opportunities and the reception to change of bank customers. Office mechanisation (from the introduction of office equipment and “mechanical banking” in the inter-war years to its culmination with computer technology in the late 1950s and beyond) was introduced alongside the development of new capabilities. Technological change eventually offered others the potential to compete in bank markets. However, time and again, and despite a broadening of the range of financial institutions which provided competing services, technical change associated with long-standing experience resulted in a strengthened competitive position for already established participants.

Keywords: banks; building societies; technological change; management accounting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc and nep-his
Date: 2005-03-24
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 23
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wpa:wuwpeh:0503001

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