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CEP discussion paper
The Long-Term Effect of Digital Innovation on Bank Performance: An Empirical Study of SWIFT Adoption in Financial Services
Susan Scott, John Van Reenen and Markos Zachariadis August 2010
Paper No' CEPDP0992:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: O33; N20

Tags: technology adoption; bank performance; financial services; network innovation; swift

We examine the impact on bank performance of the adoption of SWIFT, a network-based technological infrastructure for worldwide interbank telecommunication. We construct a new longitudinal dataset of 6,848 banks in 29 countries in Europe and the Americas with the full history of adoption since SWIFT’s initial operations in 1977. Our results suggest that the adoption of SWIFT (i) has large effects on profitability in the long-term; (ii) is greater for small than for large banks; and (iii) exhibits significant network effects on performance. We use an in-depth field study to better understand the mechanisms underlying the effects on profitability.

This paper has been published as:
'The long-term effect of digital innovation on bank performance: an empirical study of SWIFT adoption in financial services', Susan V Scott, John Van Reenen and Markos Zachariadis, Research Policy Volume 46, Issue 5, June 2017