The use of information technology in banks from the earliest use of mainframe computers to the latest developments is summarised. In an environment in which government has encouraged competition, technology enables newcomers in the financial sector to compete with the banks while the banks become more dependent on technology to remain competitive. The effects of technology and competition are inseparable. The effect on employment, organisation and managerial and professional positions is examined and the importance of learning from the experience of manufacturing industries of the interaction between people and machines in a “socio‐technical” system is emphasised.
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