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The Big Four British Banks


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Table of Contents

PART I: THE PROBLEM AND THE SETTING Commercial Banking Worldwide: A Declining Industry British and US Banking: Similarities and Differences Recent History and Strategic Adaptations PART II: THE FOUR CLEARERS Lloyds: A Deviant Case, Rejecting Universal Banking Barclays: The Quaker Squirearchy of British Banking Barclays: Is Transformation Possible? NatWest: Another Global Bank Gone Home NatWest: Re-Inventing Itself Midland: Merger after Near Fatal Decline PART III: IS UNIVERSAL BANKING AN OPTION? Diversification and Synergies The Future of British Banking

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About the Author

DAVID ROGERS is Professor and Chairman of the Leonard N. Stern School of Business of New York University. He is the author of a book on, 'The History of American Banking' and in the research for this book he has enjoyed a very high level of access to the key players in the UK Banking industry.


'David Rogers has brought the problems of the major British banks, particularly in their attempt to become major universal banks over the past twenty years, to life in a unique fashion. In particular he has illuminated the part played by organizational processes, clashes of culture and the leading individual players themselves.' - Harold Rose, Emeritus Professor of Finance, London Business School

'An insightful study with serious implications for US as well as UK banking.' - Raphael Soifer, Banking Analyst

'At a time when many financial institutions are rushing headlong into ever more consolidations, Rogers' cautionary tale merits widespread attention.' - Professor Richard Sylla, Stern School of Business, New York University

'This book makes a powerful contribution and is compelling reading for anyone interested in understanding how banks respond to competitive and other pressures.' - Professor David T. Llewellyn, Loughborough University

'David Rogers is the looker-on who sees most of the game, and understands big banks in the USA and UK better than most of them understand themselves. He shows what clear direction and strong leadership can do for them, and what happens when muddle sets in at the top and spreads downwards.' - Christopher Fildes, Financial Columnist for The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator

'...a fascinating book about the major commercial banks in the UK and how their world has changed and continues to change.' - D.E. Bond, Choice

'Compelling reading for anyone who wants to understand how we have arrived where we now are and where we are likely to go from here. The author has drawn upon high level access to the major players and he displays an enviable capacity to see the wood through the trees.' - Chartered Institute of Bankers News

'Rogers is an organisational sociologist, not an economist, and the book is based on some 200 interviews with both bankers and observers. This approach has great strengths. Non-specialist readers will gain an insight into the quite marked differences in culture and institutional history between the outwardly similar Barclays, Lloyds, Midland, and Natwest. They will learn of the mistakes made by the individuals and institutions concerned, but also of their successes, and gain some understanding of the difficulties they have faced...Anyone who wants to get a feel for what it has been like to be involved in British banking in the past few decades will get a lot from this book.' - Sir Kit McMahon, The Spectator

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