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Case Study

A British banking giant: Barclays PLC

The British banking giant Barclays traces its history back to two renowned goldsmith bankers, John Freame and Thomas Gould, who began trading in London in the 1690s. James Barclay, from whom the bank takes its name, would come on board in the 1730s. By 1896, the bank was officially established as Barclay and Co after the merger of twelve existing institutions.

Over the many decades that followed, Barclays was behind a number of firsts. In 1938, the company acquired the first Indian exchange bank, the Central Exchange Bank of India. In 1958, it was the first UK bank to appoint a female bank manager. And in 1966, it launched the UK’s first credit card. Just a year later, Barclays opened the world’s first ATM.

A lot has changed since. Today, Barclays employs over 80,000 people in 40 countries and is Europe’s fifth-largest bank by total assets. It also operates over 4,750 branches in 55 countries around the world.

On top of its vast branch network, Barclays also offers a wide range of foreign exchange (FX) services, including online FX and dealing capability through Barclays.Net or Barx Corporate. The company’s cash and liquidity specialists work with clients to develop a tailored approach for both transactional and strategic requirements.

Two of Barclays’ industry-leading FX solutions include its Book Rate facility, which allows traders to book a live exchange rate for payment or transfer, and its online FX dealing application, which offers an immediate, self-service solution for foreign exchange dealing.

Across its vast service portfolio, Barclays posted revenues of almost GBP 25bn in 2022.

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