This paper is based on the results of the initial stage of a British Library Research and Innovation Centre funded project which investigates the role of information in the strategic management process in UK retail banking. The results presented are based on questionnaires and interviews conducted with senior managers responsible for strategic planning in the banks. It was found that information is viewed as a source of competitive advantage in this sector, but that the ‘formalised’ information gathering process was ad hoc . Typical information sources were viewed as of secondary importance, i.e. online databases, journals, CD-ROMs. Managers preferred to commission external information, such as PEST (political, environmental, social and technological) analyses, and to rely upon internally-generated information from colleagues. Performance analysis models, such as the balanced scorecard, helped companies to confront information problems, but blockages in the flow of customer information were acknowledged.