It is the business model... Reframing the problems of UK retail banking

Julie Froud, Daniel Tischer, Karel Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
518 Downloads (Pure)


This paper introduces and applies the concept of critical business model analysis to explore dysfunctional behaviour in the UK retail banking sector and to outline possible policy approaches. The paper starts from the conventional micro-economic framing of banking as the outcome of insufficiently competitive markets, yet after two decades of policy responses the sector is not only more concentrated but also homogeneous, dominated by financialized organisations focused on sustaining high rates of return on equity. Critical business model analysis is used to reframe the banking sector as one based on mimetic behaviours, including mis-selling of financial products and opaque charging. In doing so, the paper contributes to the public debate on the reform of retail banking by highlighting the potential importance of a wider diversity of business models within the sector as a way of offering customers a different choice and limiting the scope of financialized practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Early online date6 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

please see attached document

Structured keywords

  • MGMT theme Global Political Economy
  • MGMT Strategy International Management and Business and Entrepreneurship


  • Critical business model
  • UK retail banking
  • Stakeholder credibility
  • Financialization


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