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Automation and mechanisation of financial services

This threat details a panel for the XVth World Congress of Economic Historians in Utretch, 2009

Organisers (in alphabetical order)

Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo (Leicester, UK)
Maixe-Altes, J. Carles (La Coru~a, Spain)
Thomes, Paul (Aachen, Germany)

The aim of this session is to explore the business, economic and social dymensions of technological change in financial service organizations. We bring together historians from different perspectives and approaches (e.g. economic, business, accounting and historians of technology) from different parts of the world. The session aims to be cross disciplinary by attracting management scholars from a critical perspective and sociologist researching social aspects of technological change in financial services. We aim to discuss the questions, first, dealing with the diffusion of automation amognst similar financial service organizations (such as banks, savings banks, mortgage specialists, stock exchanges, etc) in a comparative perspective. Secondly we intend to analyse the intereaction of financial service organisations and the manufactures of information and telecommunications technologies in the creation, use and difussion of new applications (such as ATM and EFPOS but also software to trade new instruments such as derivatives). Thirdly we ask questions dealing whith the impact of automation (including computerization) on the mananement of the money supply. These discussions will include issues about institutional setting, staff and gender, the process of technological innovation and change reshaping existing management and control systems (with particular attention to the accounting function), division of labour, gender division of labour, etc. Fourthly, explore the links between tecnological innovation (particularly computer applications) and the development of internal management and accounting systems. Papers that consider the above questions within the context of technological change, gender studies, accounting history, emerging markets and globalization would be especially welcome.

Participants in pre-conference meeting (Bordeaux, July 2008) (click on each name for their curricula)

Appelquist, Joakim (Independent scholar, Sweden)
Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo (Leicester, UK)
Billings, Mark (Nottingham, UK)
Bonin, Hubert (SciPo Bordeaux - host, France)
Booth, Alan (Exeter, UK)
Bouneau, Christophe (SciPo Bordeaux - host, France)
Del Angel, Gustavo (CIDE, Mexico)
Ferber, Katalin (Waseda, Japan)
Heide, Lars (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Maixe-Altes, J. Carles (Coru~a, Spain)
Martin, Ian (Open, UK)
Mooij, Joke (Rabobank, NL)
Mounier-Khun, Pierre E. (Sorbonne, France)
Poon, Martha (UC Davis, USA)
Stearns, David (Independent scholar, USA)
Thomes, Paul (Aachen, Germany)

Abstracts (in no particular order)

Expanding Business, Scarcity of Workforce and Technical Progress‚ The Case of German Savings Banks (sbs) in 20th century by Paul Thomes

Britains National Giro, 1965-1977: Computerized Nationalism? by Mark Billings and Alan Booth

Organisational Change and the Computerisation of British and Spanish Savings Banks, circa 1950-1985 by Bernardo Batiz-Lazo and J. Carles Maixe-Altes

Networks, Boundaries, and Gateways: The Visa Payment by Dave Stearns

Banks as Partners in IT Innovation : A Study of the French Case by Pierre E. Mounier-Khun

Mechanization or not? Postal Savings in Japan by Katalin Ferber

Automation in Mexican Financial Services: 1950-2007 by Gustavo del Angel

Making Space for Computers in the Business of Banking: Barclays and Britain in the 1960s by Ian Martin

The Development of the use of Accounting Machines in French Banks from the 1920s to the 1950s by Hubert Bonin

Rabobank- An Innovative Bank by Joke Mooij

Technical and Organisational Change in the Swedish Banking Sector, 1975-2003 by Joakim Appelquist

The Fair Issac System of Commercial Scorecard Manufacture (1957- C. 1980) by Martha Poon

Click here for selected bibliography

ATMs in the UK project

The History of ATM homepage is hosted by This research proceeded with the financial support of the British Academy (LRG-41806).

As an active research project, this site is constantly being added to. To learn more about the project please click on homepage abore or here .

As part of this project a number of on-line resources for ATM research were developed including datbases on ATM patents, image galleries and oral histories. Most are store here but some papers are stored elsewhere. For instance:

Emergence and Evolution of Proprietary ATM Networks in the UK, 1967-2000