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By Elena Bozhkova

Company profile

CEO: Jes Staley

Based in: London, United Kingdom

Founded: July 20, 1896

Best known for: bank holding company

Traded on: New York Stock Exchange

Ticker: BCS

Though not officially founded until 1896 in London, Barclays’ company history actually begins back in the late 1600s. In 1690, goldsmith bankers Thomas Gould and John Freame began to do business together. Then, in 1736, James Barclay came on as a partner with the business – and the name has stuck ever since.

Now, Barclays is known for its international banking and financial services. These services include (but are not limited to) investment banking, personal banking, corporate banking, and investment and wealth management.

Though its headquarters are located in London, United Kingdom, Barclays does offer its services on an international basis. Therefore, the company is occasionally referred to in separate entities, such as the Barclays UK Division and the Barclays International Division.

Barclays and its old, old history

  • 1690: John Freame and Thomas Gould, two goldsmith bankers, go into business together on Lombard Street in London.
  • 1736: John Freame’s son Joseph Freame and his brother-in-law James Barclay become business partners.
  • 1896: About 20 small family-owned banks decide to band together and create Barclay and Company Limited, the first version of the Barclays company we know today.
  • 1920: Now called Barclays Bank Limited, the company was ranked in third place among Britain’s Big Five Banks.
  • 1925: Barclays officially becomes an international bank with the addition of Barclays Bank International.
  • 1962: Because of the Second World War and the changing society, the 1950s and 1960s saw a huge growth of women entering the workforce. By 1962, Barclays was officially employing more women than men.
  • 1985: The company rebrands as all the international and UK based businesses group together to form a new holding company, titled Barclays PLC.
  • 2016: Barclays reorganises (and sells certain businesses) and makes the United Kingdom and the United States its two main hubs.
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