Growth Cycles in the Classification of Modern Commercial Banking: An Evolutionary History of the Western System
An integral part of the financial system, the evolutionary history of commercial banking remains largely uncharted and is often grouped into banking development as a whole. Previous research on banking has primarily relied on economic analysis or has placed banking in a larger social context. This work aims to bridge the two by classifying commercial banking growth into four cycles of expansion, application, and decline. Drawing from historical accounts and growth cycle theory, this framework for classification is developed to better synthesize its progress and the fundamental innovations that changed the banking system. Beginning in 1150 with the foundation for deposit banking, the next three cycles of 1500, 1750, and 1933 mark periods of great innovation and a push toward the regulatory environment, technology, and globalization that define modern commercial banking. Paralleling the economic, financial, and political development of the Western World, its evolution is guided by three themes: the increased accumulation and flow of capital, regulation, and market expansion.