Barclays Plc history, profile and history video

     Barclays Plc is a global financial service provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. The company operates in nine segments: UK Retail & Business Banking, Europe Retail & Business Banking, Africa Retail & Business Banking, Barclaycard, Investment Bank, Corporate Banking, Wealth & Investment Management, Head Office Functions and Other Operations. The UK Retail and Business Banking segment provides current account and savings products and Woolwich branded mortgages. It also provides unsecured loans and general insurance as well as banking and money transmission services to small and medium-sized businesses. The Europe Retail and Business Banking segment provides retail services, including credit cards, in Spain, Italy, Portugal and France, as well as lending to small and medium-sized businesses, through a variety of distribution channels. The Africa Retail and Business Banking segment provides retail, corporate and credit card services across Africa and the Indian Ocean. The Barclaycard segment is an international payments business service provider to retail and business customers including credit cards and consumer lending. The Investment Bank segment is the investment banking division of Barclays, which provides corporate, government and institutional clients with solutions to meet their strategic advisory, financing and risk management needs. The Corporate Banking segment provides integrated banking solutions to large corporates, financial institutions and multi-nationals in the UK and internationally. The Wealth and Investment Management segment provides wealth and investment management focuses on private and intermediary clients worldwide, providing international and private banking, investment management, fiduciary services and brokerage. The Head Office Functions and Other Operations segment comprises head office and central support functions and consolidation adjustments. Barclays was founded on July 20, 1986, and is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

    Barclays History

    1690 to 1900

    Barclays traces its origins back to 1690 when¬†John Freame¬†and Thomas Gould started trading as¬†goldsmith¬†bankers in¬†Lombard Street, London. The name “Barclays” became associated with the business in 1736, when James Barclay, the son-in-law of John Freame, one of the founders, became a partner in the business.¬†In 1728 the bank moved to 54 Lombard Street, identified by the ‘Sign of the Black¬†Spread Eagle’, which in subsequent years would become a core part of the bank’s visual identity.

    In 1776 the firm was styled “Barclay, Bevan and Bening” and so remained until 1785, when another partner, John Tritton, who had married a Barclay, was admitted, and the business then became “Barclay, Bevan, Barclay and Tritton”.

    In 1896 several banks in London and the English provinces, notably¬†Backhouse’s Bank¬†of¬†Darlington¬†and¬†Gurney’s Bank¬†of¬†Norwich, united under the banner of Barclays and Co., a¬†joint-stock¬†bank.

    1900 to 1945

    Between 1905 and 1916 Barclays extended its branch network by making acquisitions of small English banks. Further expansion followed in 1918 when Barclays amalgamated with the London, Provincial and South Western Bank and in 1919 when the British Linen Bank was acquired by Barclays Bank, although the British Linen Bank retained a separate board of directors and continued to issue its own banknotes (see Banknotes of the pound sterling). Then in 1924 the planned takeover of the National Bank of Kingston reached near-completion but was halted three days before finalization.

    In 1938 Barclays acquired the first Indian exchange bank, the Central Exchange Bank of India, which had opened in London in 1936 with the sponsorship of Central Bank of India.

    1946 to 1980

    In 1965, Barclays established a US affiliate, Barclays Bank of California in San Francisco.

    Barclays launched the first credit card in the UK,¬†Barclaycard, in 1966. On 27 June 1967, Barclays deployed the world’s first¬†cash machine, in¬†Enfield, north London.¬†The British actor¬†Reg Varney¬†was the first one to use the machine.

    In 1969, a planned merger with Martins Bank and Lloyds Bank was blocked by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, but the acquisition of Martins Bank on its own was later permitted. Also that year, the British Linen Bank subsidiary was sold to the Bank of Scotland in exchange for a 25% stake, a transaction that became effective from 1971.

    In August 1975, following the secondary banking crash, Barclays acquired Mercantile Credit Company.

    - Advertisement -

    1980 to 2000

    In 1980, Barclays Bank International expanded its business to include commercial credit and took over American Credit Corporation, renaming it Barclays American Corporation.

    Barclays became the first bank to re-open branches on Saturday mornings in 1982, twenty years after the practice ended. Two years later, in 1984, Barclays posted record profits.

    The following year Barclays Bank and Barclays Bank International merged, and as part of the corporate reorganization the former Barclays Bank plc became a group holding company, renamed Barclays plc, and UK retail banking was integrated under the former BBI, and renamed Barclays Bank PLC.

    In 1986 Barclays sold its South African business operating under the Barclays National Bank name after protests against Barclays’ involvement in South Africa and its apartheid government. Also that year Barclays bought de Zoete & Bevan and Wedd Durlacher (formerly Wedd Jefferson)[15] to form BZW and to take advantage of the¬†Big Bang¬†on the London Stock Exchange.

    Barclays introduced the Connect card in June 1987, the first debit card in the United Kingdom. The Connect brand is still being used on their debit cards today.

    In 1988, Barclays sold Barclays Bank of California, which at that time was the 17th-largest bank in California measured by assets, to Wells Fargo for US$125 million in cash.

    Edgar Pearce, the “Mardi Gra Bomber”, began a terror campaign against the bank and the supermarket chain¬†Sainsbury’s¬†in 1994.

    In 1996, Barclays bought Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors (WFNIA) and merged it with BZW Investment Management to form Barclays Global Investors.

    Two years later, in 1998, the BZW business was broken up and parts were sold to Credit Suisse First Boston: Barclays retained the debt business which formed the foundation of what is now Barclays Capital.

    In 1999, in an unusual move as part of the trend at the time for free ISPs, Barclays launched an internet service called this entity was acquired by British Telecom in 2001.

    The year 2000 saw the acquisition of Woolwich plc (formerly the Woolwich Building Society).

    21st century

    In 2001 Barclays closed 171 branches in the UK, many of them in rural communities: Barclays called itself “THE BIG BANK” but this name was quickly given a low profile after a series of embarrassing PR stunts.

    In 2003, Barclays bought the American credit card company¬†Juniper Bank¬†from¬†CIBC, re-branding it as “Barclays Bank Delaware”.¬†The same year saw the acquisition of Banco Zaragozano, the 11th largest Spanish bank.

    Barclays took over sponsorship of the Premier League from Barclaycard in 2004. In May 2005 Barclays moved its group headquarters from Lombard Street in the City of London to One Churchill Place in Canary Wharf. Also in 2005 Barclays sealed a ¬£2.6bn takeover of Absa Group Limited, South Africa’s largest retail bank, acquiring a 54% stake on 27 July 2005.

    Then in 2006, Barclays purchased the HomEq Servicing Corporation for US$469¬†million in cash from¬†Wachovia¬†Corp.¬†That year also saw the acquisition of the financial website Comparetheloan¬†and Barclays announcing plans to rebrand Woolwich branches as Barclays, migrating Woolwich customers onto Barclays accounts and migrating back-office processes onto Barclays systems ‚Äď the Woolwich brand was to be used for Barclays mortgages.

    In January 2007, Barclays announced that it had purchased the naming rights to the Barclays Center, a proposed 18,000-seat arena in Brooklyn, New York, where the New Jersey Nets planned to relocate. Barclays canceled its secondary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2008.

    In April 2013, Barclays announced a new initiative called Digital Eagles. The ideology was to create infectious staff advocacy and use this opportunity to highlight to customers the benefits of digital solutions to help make customers live much easier. Barclays Digital Eagles are the creative driving force for everything digital across the United Kingdom with expansions taking place in South Africa and Europe.”

    *Information from and

    **Video published on YouTube by “Barclays



    Related videos