CONFERENCE: The Evolution of the Global Payments System | GloCoBank Project Event

Conference: The Evolution of the Global Payments System

A GloCoBank Project Event | 23-24 March 2023 | The Pavilion, St Hilda’s College | University of Oxford


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About the conference

The global payments system represents the underlying plumbing of globalisation, determining the efficiency and security of cross-border payments for goods and services. Despite its fundamental importance surprisingly little is known about the evolution of this system, especially the dynamics of the network of bilateral bank relationships used for cross-border settlements across the past 150 years.

This conference explores the evolution of the global payments system during the 19th and 20th centuries, including:

  • Correspondent banking, international banking networks and the development of the global payments system
  • The changing shape, patterns and dynamics of international banking networks, and the impact of financial crises, world events and regulatory changes
  • Banking technologies and the ‘plumbing’ of the international payments system
  • Bank internationalisation strategies

The conference features a Keynote Lecture by Professor Kris Mitchener, Santa Clara University, ‘How do financial crises redistribute risk?’ on Thursday 23rd March, 4pm. All welcome, registration required.

Download programme (PDF file)

Day 1, Thursday 23 March  (all timings UK / GMT)


08:30 – 09:00     Arrival and registration


09:00 – 09:15    Welcoming address

Catherine R. Schenk, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project


09:15 – 10:45    Panel 1

Chair/discussant: Kris Mitchener, Santa Clara University    


  • Marianna Astore, Paris School of Economics & Paolo Di Martino, University of Turin

‘Branching vs. correspondents in 'cross-border' banking expansion? Evidence from Italy, 1870s-1913’

  • Marco Molteni, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project

‘Opening the black box of foreign correspondent banking: the case of Banca Commerciale Italiana in the 20th century’


10:45 – 11:15    Tea/coffee break


11:15 – 12:45     Panel 2

Chair/discussant: Jamieson Myles, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project


  • Clément Berthou & Jean-François Ponsot, Université de Grenobles Alpes

‘How and why to make a currency global? An infrastructural comparative study of the Eurodollar and the international Yuan cases’

  • Matthias Kemmerer, Goethe University Frankfurt

‘Banking on the Deutsche Mark: The Bundesbank and West German bank internationalisation after Bretton Woods (1968–1985)’


12:45 – 13:45     Lunch


13:45 – 15:45     Panel 3

Chair/discussant:  Catherine R. Schenk, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project


  • Bianca Orsi, Annina Kaltenbrunner & Sophia Kuehnlenz, University of Leeds

‘Central bank digital currencies and the international payment system: The demise of the US dollar?’

  • Pilar Nogues-Marco, University of Geneva & Nektarios Aslanidis, Universitat Rovira I Virgili

‘Near-money in history: Cryptocurrencies versus bills of exchange’

  • Aaron M. Honsowetz, Bethany College

‘Private provision of money orders in the United States by express and telegraph companies’


15:45 – 16:00    Tea/coffee break


16:00 – 17:00     Keynote lecture

Professor Kris Mitchener, Santa Clara University, ‘How do financial crises redistribute risk?


19:00 for 19:30     Conference Dinner (by invitation)

Day 2, Friday 24 March


09:00 – 11:00    Panel 4

Chair/discussant: Nora Yitong Qiu, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project


  • Lukas Dovern, University of Kiel

‘International banking in the socialist world, 1956–1970’

  • Enerelt Enkhbold, Asian Development Bank

‘The role of payment systems in Mongolia's financial inclusion and economic integration'

  • Manuel Bautista-González, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project & Carlos Marichal Salinas, El Colegio de México

‘The internationalization of banking in Latin America: Foreign banks and correspondent banking networks (1870-1914)’


11:00 – 11:30     Tea/coffee break


11:30 – 13:00     Panel 5

Chair/discussant: Akram Beniamin, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project        


  • Yong Han, University of Reading

‘Why has the United Nations unification of global payment law failed?’

  • Sabine Dörry, University of Luxembourg, Gary Robinson, University of Luxembourg/Ghent University & Ben Derudder, Ghent University/KU Leuven

‘Reform that you may preserve. SWIFT’s directed change towards platformisation of global payments’


13:00 – 13:15     Closing remarks

Catherine R. Schenk, University of Oxford/GloCoBank project

Conference organisers:

Professor Catherine R. SchenkDr Marco MolteniDr Alena Pivavarava | GloCoBank Project