Combining Risky Banking and Doing Good for the Local Community. Hybrid Identities in Demutualised UK Building Societies and Danish Savings Banks

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentationForedrag og mundtlige bidrag


How did financial organizations with a history of having more-than-for-profit goals develop in the decades before the financial crisis in 2008? On the one hand, it was a period of deregulation, centralisation demutualisation, and an immense appetite for growth and profit in the financial sector. On the other hand, it was a time when discussions about CSR, triple botom line and sustainability took off.
In the talk, I apply the concept of a divided habitus to understand the hybrid identities of
organizations balancing non-profit and for-profit goals. Based on a case study of the demutualisation of the Danish savings banks and the foundations formed as part of the process, I investigate how the former mutuals balanced the strategic aims of growth and ideas of working for the common good. Concretely, the new savings bank foundations developed in opposite directions to solve an inbuilt tension between a profit-oriented logic of banking and a non-profit logic of philanthropy. Some ended as villains in the financial crisis, while others became well-reputed grant-making foundations with weak ties to the bank. However, along the way they had surprisingly similar dual goals of growth and ‘promoting good lives.’ I compare the Danish case to the demutualization of British building societies and point especially to similarities and differences to the history of Northern Rock.
Periode11 okt. 2023
Sted for afholdelseThe University of York, Storbritannien