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Introduction

  • David Rogers
Chapter
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Abstract

This is a book about the evolution of the British commercial banking industry, as reflected primarily in the experiences of its four clearing banks — Barclays, Lloyds, Midland, and NatWest. The book concentrates mainly on the period since the 1960s, when the cosy, cartel position of the UK banks began to erode in the face of increasing competition. Though acknowledging the importance of history in shaping more recent developments, I limited myself to the past few decades for at least two reasons. First, banking scholars had already produced many detailed studies of the industry’s long history.1 Second, the changes taking place since the 1960s have been so momentous that they merit intensive study in their own right. Moreover, having reviewed several studies on how the industry had evolved before then, I could take that context into consideration in analyzing what was happening now.

Keywords

Financial Service Banking Industry Mutual Fund Commercial Banking Individual Bank 
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Notes and references

  1. 1.
    See, for example, Michael Collins, Money and Banking in the UK: A History, Croom Helm, London, 1988.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    David T. Llewellyn, ‘A Strategic Perspective on the Global Banking Industry’, in Revue de La Banque, 6, 1995, pp. 302–12; and his ‘Universal Banking and the Public Interest: A British Perspective’, Ch. 5, pp. 161–204, in Anthony Saunders and Ingo Walter (eds), Universal Banking, Chicago, Irwin, 1996. Llewellyn, an economist and banking scholar, has written insightfully on this trend, particularly as exemplified in the UK. See also Jordi Canals, Universal Banking, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997, Ch. 1.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Flow of Funds Accounts, various editions.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Collins, op. cit., p. 405.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 411–12.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Two recent examples are Itzhak Swary and Barry Topf, Global Financial Deregulation, Blackwell, Cambridge, 1992; and Anthony Saunders and Ingo Walter (eds), Universal Banking, Irwin, Chicago, 1996.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    One exception is Canals, op. cit.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    David Rogers, The Future of American Banking, McGraw Hill, New York, 1993.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Interestingly, Channon had provided some prescient comments on precisely this point in 1977. As he noted: ‘… the literature to date has not treated these firms as the individual and unique business organizations that they are, but rather has considered them collectively — as clearly defined, yet somehow characterless, groups of like enterprises. The research evidence, however clearly revealed that, while, for instance, the different clearing banks had features in common, there were also notable differences in the policies they were pursuing and the structures used to implement these policies.’ Derek Channon, British Banking Strategy, Macmillan, London, 1977, Preface, xi. Despite Channon’s admonitions, banking industry researchers have not looked at the strategy and structure of individual banks to any degree, with the exception of the author’s previous banking study and Canals’ recent work.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    See Roy C. Smith and Ingo Walter, ‘Global Patterns of Mergers and Acquisition Activity in the Financial Services Industry’, a paper presented at the Conference on Mergers of Financial Institutions, New York University Salomon Center, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, 11 October 1996.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    For a discussion of different types of universal banks, see Anthony Saunders and Ingo Walter, Universal Banking in the United States, Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, 1994, Ch. 4.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    This is the thesis of Roy Smith in his book, Comeback, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 1993.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    I am indebted to Professor David Llewellyn of Loughborough University for insights on this issue.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Smith and Walter, op. cit., p. 22.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rogers, op. cit.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Robert Eccles and Dwight Crane, Doing Deals, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 1988.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Andrew Campbell and Kathleen Sommers Luchs (eds), Strategic Synergy, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1992.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Saunders and Walter, op. cit.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Originally, given their size and complexity, I was intending to do case studies of Barclays and NatWest alone. After gaining significant entry into the two other clearing banks, contrary to my expectations, I decided to include Lloyds and Midland also.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Robert M. Grant, Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Blackwell, Cambridge MA, 1995, p. 369.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Constantine C. Markides, Diversification, Refocusing, and Economic Performance, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1995.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ibid., p. 164.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Robert Grant, ‘Diversification in The Financial Services Industry’, in Campbell and Luchs, op. cit., pp. 201–42.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ibid., p. 231, quoted from Henry Kaufman, ‘Financial Institutions and the Fragile, Volatile Financial Markets’, in Arnold W. Sametz (ed.), The Emerging Financial Industry, Lexington Books, DC Heath, Lexington MA, 1985, pp. 26–7.Google Scholar

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© David Rogers 1999

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  • David Rogers

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