Abstract: Organizational Change and the Computerization of British and Spanish Savings Banks, circa 1950-1985

Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo and J. Carles Maixé-Altés


In this article we explore organisational changes associated with the automation of mutual financial intermediaries the UK while making a running comparison with developments in Spain. This international comparison helps to ascertain the evolution of the same organisational form in two distinct competitive environments. Changes in regulation and technological developments (particularly applications of information technology) are said to be responsible for enhancing competitiveness of retail finance. Archival research on the evolution of savings banks helps to ascertain how, prior to competitive changes taking place, participants in bank markets had to develop capabilities to compete. Moreover, assess the response of collaborative agreements to opportunities opened by technological change (in particular resolve apparent scale disadvantages to contest bank markets). Of particular interest is the role of applications of computer technology to redefine the relation between head office and retail branches as well as between staff at retail branches and customers.