John Wallace helped automate the first branch of what was to become NatWest and led IT functions in the bank at the cutting edge for over 30 years. John joined National Provincial in 1951 after leaving school at the first opportunity, with a clutch of “pretty miserable O levels” and learned the trade stoking the boiler and taking spare cash to the Post Office accompanied by a colleague and a truncheon. Ten years later he was one of four staff working with Ferranti on a Pegasus serving five branches in London.
After taking charge of systems development in the merger with NatWest in 1968, John ran subsidiary organisations providing services including archiving and payroll back to banks and other businesses as well as developing new products and introducing new technologies. Amongst his many firsts he includes the implementation of the world’s largest DB2 system, which uniquely provided the bank with a totally integrated view of each customer’s relationship with NatWest. John gave up banking 28 years ago as head of Group IT.
Since then he has held multiple positions, including Chairman of CIO Connect. One of his most challenging roles was Honorary Treasurer of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, which earned him a standing ovation at his last Court meeting.
John was interviewed by Tom Abram for Archives of IT and the interview will be live in November.
John Wallace on Computers by Default
John Wallace on First Branch Automation
John Wallace on Getting Into Banking
John Wallace on The Cutting Edge