Historic map showing Barclays offices around the world

Historic map showing Barclays offices around the world.

Our history

Find out about our history, dating back to 1690

2012 Barclaycard PayTag is launched in the UK. Around a third of the size of a credit card, Barclaycard PayTag is a sticker that can be attached to the back of a mobile phone, allowing customers to make contactless payments.


Barclays launches Pingit – a free mobile phone app allowing users in the UK to send and receive money via their handset, without the need to share bank details.


Barclays announces that it has purchased MBNA Europe Bank Limited’s small business credit card portfolio in the UK, consisting of approximately 60,000 accounts with approximately £130m of outstanding balances.

Barclays agrees to acquire Egg’s UK credit card assets, consisting of approximately 1.15 million credit card accounts with approximately £2.3bn of gross receivables.

Barclays announces its 2010 Full Year Results, reporting profit before tax of £6.1bn.

Bob Diamond succeeds John Varley as Chief Executive.


Barclays announces that Bob Diamond will succeed John Varley as Chief Executive in 2011.

Barclays announces its 2009 Full Year Results, reporting profit before tax of £11.6bn.

Barclays acquires Standard Life Bank.

Barclays launches two innovative cycling schemes in London: Barclays Cycle Hire and Barclays Cycle Superhighways, the first initiatives of their kind in the capital.


Barclays completes its acquisition of PT Akita, a privately owned bank with ten outlets in three cities in Indonesia. The move makes Indonesia the 15th country to become part of Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Banking Emerging Markets Business Unit.

Barclays Capital completes the integration of the North American businesses of Lehman Brothers which Barclays acquired in September 2008.

Barclays announces its 2008 Full Year Results, reporting profit before tax of £6.1bn.

Barclays is the first bank in the UK to make free security software available to all its Online Banking customers for use on their mobile phones.

Barclays becomes the title sponsor of the ATP World Tour Finals.

Banking on Change launches globally in 11 countries, supporting the financial inclusion of 490,000 people over a three year period.


Barclays opens for business in Pakistan, with branches in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The launch is the 14th emerging market Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Banking has entered since March 2007.

Barclays acquires Lehman Brothers North American investment banking and capital markets businesses.

Barclays acquires leading Russian bank Expobank. The bank becomes part of Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Banking Emerging Markets Business Unit.

Barclays is the first bank in the UK to announce a mass roll-out of contactless-enabled debit cards. From March 2009, most Barclays debit cards that are issued or reissued will have contactless technology built in.

Barclays is the first bank in the UK to give its Local Business customers access to an online service that checks supplier credit ratings.

Absa, majority-owned by Barclays, becomes the first bank in South Africa to reach one million internet banking users.


Barclays increases its position in Asia with investment from two major shareholders in the region – China Development Bank and Singapore-headquartered investment firm Temasek.

Barclays opens three new branches in India, including a 24-hour flagship outlet in Delhi.

Barclaycard Breathe is launched, the first UK credit card which rewards customers for making environmentally aware purchasing decisions.

Barclays is the first bank in France to be awarded the ISO 14001 standard for complying with international environmental management.


Absa, majority owned by Barclays, is the first South African bank to publish a Customer Charter, putting more than eight million customers at the centre of its business.

The wealth management division of Barclays is relaunched under the Barclays Wealth brand.

In an industry first, Barclaycard launches OnePulse, a credit and cashless payment card which incorporates cashless Oyster card technology, used on London’s public transport system.

A benchmark year in which 50 per cent of Barclays profits are made outside the UK.

Barclays globalises its participation in Make a Difference Day, enabling more than 11,000 employees from 25 countries to give their time and skills to more than 900 different volunteering projects.


Barclays acquires a majority stake in Absa, one of South Africa’s leading financial services organisations.

Barclays moves its world headquarters from Lombard Street in the City of London to the new 1 Churchill Place building in Canary Wharf.


Barclaycard acquires the Juniper Financial Corporation, one of North America’s fastest-growing credit card issuers.

Barclays Spaces for Sports initiative begins, helping young people develop a range of life and employment skills. It has since invested over £37 million.

The current version of the Barclays logo is introduced.


Barclays purchases wealth management firm Gerrard Management Services Ltd, to become the UK’s largest private client investment manager.

Banco Zaragozano, one of the largest private banks in Spain, is acquired, making Barclays the country’s sixth largest bank.

2001 Barclays partners with five international banks to launch the first ever global ATM alliance, providing over 40 million customers with free access to member banks’ ATMS.
2000 Barclays acquires Woolwich, a leading mortgage bank and former building society.

Barclays launches its Online Banking service.

Barclays is estimated to be the most valuable brand in the UK, worth more than £5.3bn.

Barclays is the first UK bank to offer customers a mortgage in euros to buy a home in the UK.

1998 Barclays opens the UK’s first drive-through ATM, near Heathrow Airport.

Barclays Capital is established, following the sale of BZW's UK and European Equity and Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory business to Credit Suisse.

Barclays launches the first PC banking service for small businesses


Barclays launches a PC banking service partnership with Microsoft using Money 97 software. In the same year Barclays also launches the service for small businesses.

Barclays purchases fund manager Wells Fargo Nikko Advisers. The business is integrated with BZW Investment Management to form Barclays Global Investors.


Barclays opens its 3,000th ATM in the UK and has the largest network of ATMs in the country.

Barclays is the first financial institution to open a website on the internet – Barclaycard Netlink.

1994 Barclaycall, Barclays telephone banking service is launched.
1993 Barclays opens its first Premier Banking office, at 54 Lombard Street, London.
1991 Barclaycard is the first UK brand to sponsor a non-fiction TV programme, travel show ‘Wish You Were Here’.
1989 Barclays opens its first branch in India.
1988 Barclays Business Centres open across the UK – the country’s largest business banking network.

Barclays announces its sponsorship of the Football League Championship in the UK.

Barclays Connect is launched, the UK’s first debit card.


BZW is created from the merger of Barclays Merchant Bank/ Barclays Investment Management, De Zoete Bevan and Wedd Durlacher Mordaunt & Co.It’s the forerunner to today’s Barclays Capital.

Barclays is the first UK bank to have its shares listed on the New York and Tokyo Stock Exchanges.

1985 Barclays UK and Barclays International are merged to form Barclays PLC.

Barclays launches its Premier Card.

Barclays Bank Ltd becomes Barclays Bank PLC.

Barclays becomes the first UK bank to re-introduce opening on Saturdays.


A Barclays Representative Office opens in Beijing, China.

Barclays is the first foreign bank to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington DC, USA.


The investment expertise offered by Barclays helps finance the Hong Kong MTR.

1977 Barclays is the first UK bank to introduce Personal Bankers to some of its branches under a pilot scheme. The following year the programme is extended nationwide.

Barclaybank, a new auto-teller service, is launched. It uses plastic cards instead of paper vouchers.

Barclays sponsors the British-led expedition to conquer the South West face of Everest, led by Chris Bonington.

1973 Barclays Business Advisory Service is launched.
1972 Barclaycard is the first UK credit card to use TV advertising.
1971 Barclayloan is launched, allowing Barclays to compete in the consumer instalment credit market.

A Barclays Representative Office opens in Tokyo, Japan.

Barclays amalgamates with Martins Bank making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Barclays.


Barclays unveils the world’s first ATM, offering ‘Barclaycash’ from its branch in Enfield, London.

Barclays becomes one of the first financial institutions to advertise its products in the UK, and five years later becomes the first UK bank to advertise on TV.

1966 Barclaycard, the UK’s first credit card, is launched.
1961 Barclays opens the UK’s first computer centre for banking, in London. In the same year Barclays introduced automated branch book-keeping at its branch in Cavendish Square, London.
1958 Barclays appoints the UK’s first female branch manager, Miss H M Harding, at its Hanover Street branch in London.
1956 A Barclays promotional film for a savings campaign in West Africa wins the Grand Prix d’ISAS at the Cannes Film Festival.

Barclays Ideas Committee is introduced, inviting colleagues to share their suggestions for the business.

Barclays Overseas Development Corporation is launched.

1945 From 1945-1948 Barclays offers refresher courses for staff returning from war service, and a Staff Training School is established in Wimbledon, London.

The Union Bank of Manchester is absorbed by Barclays.

Despite bomb damage, Barclays branches remain open during the Blitz.

1937 A Grant of Arms is obtained from the College of Arms for the black spread eagle with three crowns to be used as Barclays official coat of arms.
Late 1920s The first book-keeping machines are introduced to Barclays branches.
1925 Barclays Bank (Dominion Colonial and Overseas - DCO) is established by the merger of the Colonial Bank, the Anglo Egyptian Bank and the National Bank of South Africa. This goes on to add businesses across Africa, the Middle East and the West Indies.
1922 Barclays Bank (Overseas) is incorporated. The name later changes to Barclays Bank (France).
1920 Barclays invests in William Morris helping him become the biggest car manufacturer in the UK.
1919 Barclays Sports Club is formed.
1918 The business amalgamates with the London Provincial and South Western Bank to become one of the UK’s ‘big five’ banks.
1917 Barclay & Company Limited becomes Barclays Bank Limited.
1916 The organisation takes over the United Counties Bank in the Midlands.
1905 The bank expands, acquiring the Consolidated Bank of Cornwall.
1900s Barclays helps with the financing of two of the fastest passenger ships in the world.
1902 The business obtains a listing on the London Stock Exchange.
1896 The company joins 19 other private banking businesses to form Barclay & Company Limited, with 182 branches and deposits of £26m.
1864 The company builds a new banking house in Lombard Street.
1819 The Stockton and Darlington Railway is built with funding by Barclays, becoming the world’s first industrial steam engine.
1736 James Barclay, John Freame’s son-in-law, becomes a partner in the business.
1728 Freame and Gould move to premises bearing the sign of the Black Spread Eagle at Lombard Street, London. At the time, signs were commonly used to mark buildings instead of numbers, as most people were unable to read.
1690 John Freame and Thomas Gould start trading as goldsmith bankers in Lombard Street, in the City of London.