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The European Association for Banking and Financial History (eabh) e.V.


Retail banking

1960s to 2020s

25 Nov 2016 at 9:00am

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

eabh in cooperation with GUG.

In 1967 the American economist Raymond Goldsmith forecast the imminent decline of commercial high street banks. While necessary in the early stages of modern economic growth as a means of mobilizing savings and allocating capital, they would lose their usefulness as the financial structure of maturing economies diversified and new, more specialized financial institutions assumed their core functions. Goldsmith’s argument looked convincing.

By the mid-1960s commercial banks’ assets to GDP ratio was at a postwar low in many western countries, that is to say, economies were growing faster than the banks. At the same time that diversification did happen as countries started relaxing capital market controls and new institutions seized the opportunities. However, Goldsmith was fundamentally wrong. From its mid-1960s nadir, bank assets to GDP more or less exploded, to reach new, unprecedented peaks around the turn of the millennium. Commercial banks completely reinvented themselves as retail banks.

By the mid-1990s the retail banking model again started showing signs of strain in the form of declining profitability. Following the 2008 financial crisis retail banking entered a deep identity crisis – retail operations that had turned from profit centres into core problems. Is there a way forward for retail banking? If so, where should it go?

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Horst Schmidt (CEO Bethmann-Bank AG)

Dieter Ziegler (Ruhr-University Bochum)
09.20Surviving climate change: European retail banking's uncertain future interpreted from its past

Joost Jonker (Utrecht University)
09.50Computerization of retail banking (1950s – 1990s)

Pierre Mounier-Kuhn (Sorbonne University, French National Centre for Scientific Research)
10.20The inventors of retail banking. Historical success factors and current challenges of German savings banks

Thorsten Wehber (Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe e.V.)
11.05Coffee break

Gabriele Helfenstein (MoneYou)
Relevant market trends for MoneYou

Online retail & fintech

Jan Schildbach (Deutsche Bank Research)
Frank Egging (Santander, Head of Marketing, CRM & Product Management)
Gernot Overbeck (Fintura)
Lars Olsson (Cashlink)
Yassin Hanika (savedroid AG)
13.00Lunch break

Spanish retail banking industry after the crisis: historical development and important factors for the future

J. Carles Maixe-Altes (University of A Coruña)
14.30Continuity and change in the Swedish banking system since the 1960s

Tom Petersson (Uppsala University)
15.30Final discussion


25 Nov 2016 at 9:00am to 4:00pm


Bethmann Bank AG
Bethmannstraße 7-9
60311 Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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