This paper analyzes the activities of different national and international savings banks institutions during the second part of the twentieth century, reflecting on how globalization propelled the role of non-state forms of organization and regulation in the financial system. The analysis focuses on the Spanish case and how its institutions and industry association established their market power with regard to governmental regulation and Spanish commercial banks. Through collaborative strategies, these institutions developed their retail banking business, in particular by introducing computers and IT in general. These developments are framed within a pan-European context, in which the European savings banks and their trade associations articulated their strategies through the International Savings Banks Institute. All participants are involved in ICT development, financial inclusion efforts and the adoption of worldwide actions in developing countries.
Keywords: banking systems, savings banks, collaborative strategies, global institutions, Spain