'Barclays' is explained in detail and with examples in the Corporate Finance edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.
Barclays is a British based banking giant that calls its twin home markets both the United Kingdom and the United States. The bank is well known as a transatlantic consumer, investment, and corporate bank that provide financial services and products through investment, corporate, personal banking, wealth management, and credit cards. The banking group’s goal is to concentrate on its core strengths in investment banking, consumer banking, and corporate banking from its two anchors in the financial capitals of the globe – London and New York City.
Barclays is the oldest of the major international global banks. Its history stretches back over 325 years to 1690 where it began on Lombard Street in London. Since then the bank has pioneered numerous first in banking achievements such as the first ATM machine in the globe to industry leading cell phone payment services.
The bank today operates in more than 40 countries and territories and maintains over 130,000 employees around the globe. It operates in such key international markets as the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico in the Americas; Australia, India, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore in Asia Pacific; Egypt, Israel, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and the UAE in Africa and the Middle East; and France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland in Continental Europe.
The banking giant operates as two well defined and differentiated businesses. These are Barclays UK and Barclays Corporate & International. The bank’s UK division caters to both consumers and small to medium sized businesses. This franchise has substantial scale throughout the United Kingdom. It is made up of their UK retail banking operations, the UK wealth offering, the UK consumer credit card business, and their corporate banking for smaller businesses.
This division counts 22 million individuals as retail customers and another one million business clients. This makes Barclays a leading financial products and services provider within the United Kingdom as well as the world. The bank will ring fence this division from its other operations by 2019 in an effort to protect traditional banking assets from other riskier endeavors of the investment bank.
Under Barclays UK, personal banking offers checking and savings accounts; personal, car, and credit card loans; travel, home, and life insurance; and mortgages. The UK credit cards business focus on the Barclay Card brand. Its wealth, entrepreneurs, and business banking business covers such offerings as private banking, wealth advisory, and wealth investment services.
Barclays Corporate & International division focuses on all of the rest of the bank’s operations and offerings throughout the world. This diversified transatlantic banking division comprises their U.K. market leading corporate banking, world class investment bank, growing and powerful U.S. and global credit card businesses, international wealth services, and world leading merchant payments processing systems through Barclaycard merchant and corporate banking. The division boasts impressive size and scale in consumer lending and wholesale banking. It offers tremendous growth potential for the future, core strength in critical markets, and solid balance of revenue streams.
The bank’s Corporate & International Division focuses on three key businesses. Its Corporate and Investment Bank provides big business banking, access to market securities and debt issue, and business research for its corporate clients. Consumer Cards and Payments concentrate on the proprietary Barclay Card credit card offering and merchant processing in the United States and overseas.
Barclaycard and Wealth International handles over 40 different credit card branding relationships, providing credit card services for travel, entertainment, educational, financial, and retail institutions. It also provides the wealth management services to the bank’s many international individual and institutional clients.