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Title: A Global model or scaled-down version?: geographies of convergence and divergence in the Australian retail banking sector
Contributor(s): Argent, Neil (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2002
DOI: 10.1016/S0016-7185(02)00009-X
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Abstract: Via the spread of financial liberalisation and deregulation across advanced industrialised societies over the past two decades, national banking sectors have come under increased competitive pressure. In Australia, this pressure has manifested itself in two main forms: an almost self-imposed nervousness over the growing scale and rapidity of bank mergers occurring at an international level; and the growth of new cut-price competitors in the domestic retail market. There is now growing evidence of convergence between national banking sectors in key areas. This paper employs four criteria to examine the degree of convergence between the Australian retail banking sector and its international counterparts: centralisation of services and operations; application of the 'user pays' philosophy to services; a 'flight to quality' in lending and service provision; and industrial relations practices. While considerable similarities can be found between the Australian retail banking sector and its international comparators at the macro-level of analysis, there is also substantial diversity evident at regional and local scales as new public- and private-sector agencies and institutions seek to meet the financial needs of those individuals and communities effectively disenfranchised from the banking system via the major banks' 'world's best practice' management strategies. The paper argues that a critical and reflexive concept of scale is imperative in apprehending the increasingly complex ways in which financial service provision is being reconfigured by the strategies of reaction and resistance employed by financial consumers, urban and rural local governments, national and state media, financial consumer agencies and State and Federal Governments.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Geoforum, 33(3), p. 315-334
Publisher: Pergamon
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0016-7185
Field of Research (FOR): 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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