This chapter discusses the situation of British multinational banks twenty-five years after the end of the Second World War. British multinational banks survived despite much deterioration in competitive advantages caused by the political and economic decline of Britain. Overseas branches had grown to almost 4,000 by 1970 and the profitability had been good in comparison with earlier periods. However, the internal force needed to achieve structural change within the banks was limited and their distinctive corporate cultures worked against it. Nonetheless, the use of inner reserves helped protect them from any shareholder pressure, while the Bank of England protected them from American take-over bids. Later on, the highly specialized structure of the entire British financial system was slowly modified and the change came from external influences. Bolton and Hawker were the two dynamic strategic thinkers who attempted to achieve structural change.
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