In this paper, I look into how savings banks and savings banks foundations have contributed to the creation of the local. The central argument is that these institutions have contributed to the creation of economic, social, and physical capital locally and thereby to the creation of the local as both place, network, and emotions (sense of belonging). However, the form, content and impact have changed profoundly over time. With an emphasis on the period 1960-2010, I focus on how the economic, cultural, and social role of the savings banks and savings banks foundations has changed in the context of industrialisation, urbanisation, centralisation – and financialisation. Historically, savings banks have perceived and branded themselves as the local communities’ institutes in opposition to commercial banks. However, in his analysis of narratives and organisational change in savings banks, Per H. Hansen found that the important distinction was no longer between savings banks and commercials banks in the beginning of the 1990s. It had become between small banks and large banks. After many mergers, the semantic struggle was about the meaning of the concept of the local. It was about being “most local” (Hansen 2007). Where Hansen focuses on the struggle as a semantic one, this paper explores how the activities of savings banks and savings banks foundations materialised on the local level and created the local in both a semantic and a material sense. I do this by using a micro historical approach zooming in on selected localities in Denmark and analysing the activities (doings and sayings) of savings banks and savings banks foundations. Among other things, these activities have included lending to local businesses, shifting branch office politics, governance structures including local guarantors, and gift-giving to local associations and facilities from sport centres to defibrillators. Hansen, Per H. 2007. “Organizational Culture and Organizational Change: The Transformation of Savings Banks in Denmark, 1965-1990.” Enterprise and Society 8 (4): 920–53. https://doi.org/10.1093/es/khm071.
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
|Event||2022 BHC Meeting: Business History in Times of Disruption: Embracing Complexity and Diversity - Mexico City, Mexico|
Duration: 6 Apr 2022 → 9 Apr 2022
|Conference||2022 BHC Meeting|
|Period||06/04/2022 → 09/04/2022|