Organisational change and the computerisation of british and spanish savings banks 1965 2005
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Organisational change and the computerisation of British and Spanish savings banks, 1965-2005. J. Carles Maixé-Altés and Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo U niversidad de A Coruña - Spain Bristol Business School - UK. EBHA 2006 WORK IN PROGRESS. DO NOT QUOTE.

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Organisational change and the computerisation of British and Spanish savings banks, 1965-2005

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Organisational change and the computerisation of British and Spanish savings banks, 1965-2005

J. Carles Maixé-Altés andBernardo Bátiz-Lazo

Universidad de A Coruña - SpainBristol Business School - UK

EBHA 2006


Material for ‘BANCA’ students - Master in Banking & Finance

University of A Coruña


Prof. Dr. J. Carles Maixé-Altés


  • Our aim

    • To present findings to date (this is very much research in progress!)

    • Explore the potential attractiveness of mechanization (including the use of computers) within the move from a retail branch-based organizations to M-form.

  • Research to date involves

    • Organisational changes associated with the automation of financial intermediaries in Spain and the UK.

    • A international comparison in two distinct competitive environments of a successful and an unsuccessful group of savings banks.

    • Archival research on the evolution of savings banks helps to ascertain how participants in bank markets developed capabilities to compete.

Early computing at the Trustee Savings Banks

  • Computers TSB: manual operations until 1967 then23 English TSB - use bureau service offered by Post Office (four ICL 4 equipped centres)

  • 4 largest Scottish TSB - 33joint purchase of Burroughs equipment

  • TSB Computer Services is established in 1972 (brings in house former bureau service)

  • By 1982 the TSB has the most advanced database of client information in the UK

  • But in spite of high level of computerization, the share of the retail banking remained low

III. Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA) and tecnological change

  • Competitive collaboration transformed shared experiences,and in turn, the creation of critical mass to effectively contest bank markets

  • The corner stone of technological change and market contestability in Spanish savings banks was CECA’s Organization, Automation and Service commission (COAS)

ATM networks in Spain (1984-90)

  • The idea of a computer link was one of COAS’ strategic principles since the early 1970s.

  • An example of the implementation of this principle was facilitating scale to individual

  • savings banks by creating networks of payment systems around CECA.

  • Notable examples include ATMs and EFTPOS from 1980 onwards.

Source: CECA and Tirado and Nieto (1991), pp. 121-22.

Savings Banks ATMs in Spain (1986-2000)

Debit and Credit Cards in Spain (1989-2004)

Adoption of IT applications in Spanish savings banks (1968-2005)

Cajeros automáticos en España y Reino Unido (1984-2005)

Fuentes: CECA, AEB, Bátiz-Lazo y Maixé-Altés (2006) y Bátiz-Lazo (2007) (*= 2003)


  • Competitive collaboration can enable the creation of inter-organisational processes and procedures to distribute otherwise inaccessible information.

  • How similar/different was the process of transformation from retail branch-based system to an M-form organization in UK and Spanish savings banks?

    • What was the role of CECA and the TSB regional boards?

    • To what extent did computer technology facilitate migration?

    • What was the role of financial (i.e. accounting) information to determine performance?

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