Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gender and the financialization of Spanish retail banking, 1949-1970

Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo and Martínez-Rodríguez, Susana (2022): Gender and the financialization of Spanish retail banking, 1949-1970.

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This article analyzes a previously unexplored register of Spanish banks’ marketing material to document changes in the access of large numbers of women to the retail banking sector. In 1949 the Franco dictatorship deployed a Censorship Bureau to control and supervise all retail bank marketing. Initially, this office was part of the Finance Ministry but in 1962 it was relocated to the central bank. Examination of the surviving printed material allows us to map a shift in banks' strategies towards large-scale consumer banking and, indeed, the beginning of a new period that some have labelled ‘financialization’ and the extent to which it precedes or follows that of ‘bankarization’. We identify three ‘events’ or moments in this shift, in which women appear first as figureheads, second, the first steps to attract women as customers, and third, the direct recruitment of female customers. This work contributes to the history of marketing and the business history of banking, but also sheds light on the less explored beginnings of the financialization of everyday life.

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