Banks and industry in Spain, 1939-1985: the influence of mixed banks on economic growth


  • Maria Ángeles Pons Universidad de Valencia



Mixed Banks, Economic Growth, Credit, Financial Monopoly


The relationship between financial systems and the real economy attracts a great deal of attention from historians and economists. There remains, however; much disagreement about the ways financial development can promote growth. This problem is even more complex when we are considering “universal” or mixed banks. Mixed banks represent a huge concentration of power and this concentration of power may reduce competition. In this discussion the analysis of the Spanish banking sector from the end of the Civil War to the mid-1980s has special relevance. Firstly, because the Spanish banking played a very important role during the Franco regime. Secondly, Spanish banks were “universal” or mixed banks. In the 1960s and 1970s, criticisms against the Spanish banking sector were very strong. The main reasons of these criticisms were two. Firstly, the financial system failed to provide the capital required in some sectors. The maturity of loans (short-term loans) and the existence of credit discrimination in favour of those sectors where banks had economic interest delayed -according to this literature- the recovery of the Spanish economy. Secondly, Spanish banks behaved monopolistically. This paper has two main objectives. Firstly, to re-evaluate these views. Secondly, to analyze whether empirical evidence allow us to consider that the character of mixed banks contributed (or retarded) the Spanish industrialization in this period.