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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Early online date6 Jun 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 24 Apr 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jan 2017


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.

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    Research areas

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

    Structured keywords

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

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at DOI: 10.1016/ Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 738 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND



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