The diversity of organisational forms in banking: France, Italy and Spain 1900-2000
This paper examines, from a historical perspective, the gradual entrance into the market of mutual and not for profit banks (specifically cooperative banks and savings banks), their continually increasing competitiveness with traded banks in France, Italy and Spain. In all three countries, these institutions played an important role in the retail banking sector. Special attention will be devoted to analysing the different models of adjustment adopted by the banking systems in the south of Europe in the wake of the deregulating process undertaken in the last quarter of the twentieth century. In summary, then, this paper is an attempt to identify the historical factors responsible for the persistence, or disappearance, of certain idiosyncratic aspects of the banking system in each country, together with the various adjustments produced in each case.
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