Managing Technological Change by Committee: Adoption of Computers in Spanish and British Savings Banks (circa 1960-1988)


  • Bernardo Batiz-Lazo Bangor University
  • Joan Carles Maixé Altés Universidad de la Coruña



Comparación de instituciones financieras, Instituciones financieras europeas después de 1913, Historia micro-empresarial, Dirección de la innovación tecnológica


This article explores how savings banks managed the process of computerization through ad hoc management committees articulated under the aegis of national associations. The combination of cash payments (and low penetration of cheques) in the Spanish retail sector together with increasing administrative costs, acted as incentives for Spanish savings banks embracing applications of computer technology to articulate viable solutions for cost reductions, offer alternative payment systems to cash and facilitate greater diversification. A running comparison is made with similar developments in Britain. Computerization committees had little impact amongst the trustee savings banks (TSB). This responded to a combination of a poor corporate strategy and a number of external events. By the mid-1970s it was evident that the trustee savings banks had lost a significant share of the total domestic deposits in sterling. Meanwhile, collective investments in computer technology applications were instrumental for Spanish savings banks to successfully contest the domestic retail bank market.