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Narrow banking, real estate, and financial stability in the UK, c.1870-2010

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  • Avner Offer

    () (All Souls College, University of Oxford)

Abstract

Banking in the UK was stable for more than a century after 1866. Financial institutions were differentiated according to function. The core banks did not engage in maturity transformation, but in managing a payments system for business. Real estate was a potential source of instability due to high credit elasticity of demand and to long maturities, but credit was successfully rationed by building societies, who relied on the funds that their savers had actually withdrawn from consumption. After 1945, credit rationing came under pressure from consumers and housebuyers. Incremental liberalisations after 1971 released a tide of credit which created a property windfall economy. Borrowers and lenders both prospered until the system collapsed under its own weight in 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Avner Offer, 2013. "Narrow banking, real estate, and financial stability in the UK, c.1870-2010," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _116, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:esohwp:_116
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    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/12768/offer116.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Avner Offer, 2012. "The Economy of Obligation: Incomplete Contracts and the Cost of the Welfare State," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _103, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Duca, John V. & Muellbauer, John & Murphy, Anthony, 2010. "Housing markets and the financial crisis of 2007-2009: Lessons for the future," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 203-217, December.
    3. Schneider, Eric B., 2013. "Real wages and the family: Adjusting real wages to changing demography in pre-modern England," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 99-115.
    4. Capie,Forrest, 2010. "The Bank of England," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521192828, October.
    5. Burkhard Drees & Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, 1998. "The Nordic Banking Crisis; Pitfalls in Financial Liberalization: Pitfalls in Financial Liberalization," IMF Occasional Papers 161, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Aled Davies, 2012. "The Evolution of British Monetarism: 1968-1979," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _104, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Radha K. Shiwakoti & John K. Ashton & Kevin Keasey, 2004. "Conversion, Performance and Executive Compensation in UK Building Societies," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 361-370, July.
    8. Solomou, Solomos & Weale, Martin, 1997. "Personal Sector Wealth in the United Kingdom, 1920-56," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(3), pages 297-318, September.
    9. S. Knutsen & E. Lie, 2002. "Financial Fragility, Growth Strategies and Banking Failures: The Major Norwegian Banks and the Banking Crisis, 1987-92," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(2), pages 88-111.
    10. Offer, Avner, 2007. "The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199216628.
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