Seminario 23/09 – Miguel López Morell (Universidad de Murcia) y Bernardo Batiz-Lazo (Northumbria University) – Expanding and integrating Spanish banking networks and IT systems in Latin America


  • Ponente: Miguel López Morell, Bernardo Batiz-Lazo
  • Fecha: 16/Jun/2023 - 12:30 horas
  • Lugar: Work-Café - Facultad de Economía y Empresa - Universidad de Murcia


Topic: Revisit the extant literature on the growth of Spanish banks in Latin America through the analysis of the processes of IT integration. We explore the technological and management issues around the implementation of global platforms (developed by either third parties or at head office) which replaced, interfaced or co-existed with pre-existing local IT and management systems that were key for the formation of global MNCs.

Argument: The exponential growth of Banco Santander and BBVA in Latin America, taking advantage of the general process of banking liberalisation, represented a very complex technological and management challenge. However, to date, the extant literature has emphasised the latter and been mute on the former (e.g. Guillen and Tschoegl, 2000; Martin Aceña, 2009). We revisit this lacuna while building upon the seminal contributions of business history (such as Yates, 1989 and 2005; Capmbell-Kelly, 1992; and Cortada, 2006 and 2011) and international business (e.g. Andersen and Foss, 2005; Sambharya et al., 2005, Ragan and Sengul, 2009) , which provide a framework to explore the construction of global banks. These entities tried to implement platforms developed and tested in Spain in a diverse competitive environment while amalgamating with entities of different sizes and longevity. We document
experiences of internal transformation of acquired banks to new IT management systems in different product lines, and how they achieved coordination between platforms at head office, local back-office systems, and the generation of tools accessible to customers
while balancing the perceived costs, benefits, and risks (regulatory, market, reputational, operative, etc.) in IT implementation.

Evidence: This project combines the reinterpretation of secondary sources (Corporate reports and extant literature) with interviews and oral histories of IT and banking specialists and managers at the holding company in Spain, the acquired institutions, and contemporary regulators in Latin America. The distribution of participants is sensitive to include different gendered views of the process as well as to include different levels of management (e.g. then product and project leaders, senior executives, CIOs, CEOs, local shareholders, etc).