Re-placing money: the evolution of branch banking in Britain
Despite the prominence of London in the international financial system the majority of citizens and small and medium-sized enterprises in the United Kingdom have always been reliant on the domestic banking system for their finance. In this paper the author looks at the production and reproduction of financial space in the United Kingdom through an examination of the development of the domestic banking system. Over the past 250 years progressive changes in the banking system, from the formation of joint-stock blanks to the implementation of credit-scoring techniques, have stretched and reshaped the space across which banks have operated. This 'financial distanciation', it is argued, is set to accelerate in the 1990s and increase the 'spatial reflexivity' between the international, national, and regional financial systems. It is suggested that in the context of heightened domestic and international financial competition the increasing centralisation of lending control in the UK banking system risks marginalising some sections of society and placing local economic communities at an international disadvantage.
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