Barclays is a British multinational universal bank, headquartered in London, England. Barclays operates as two divisions, Barclays UK and Barclays International, supported by a service company, Barclays Execution Services.
Barclays UK comprises the British retail banking operations, consumer credit card business, wealth management business, and corporate banking for small, medium and large-sized businesses in the UK.
Barclays traces its origins to the goldsmith banking business established in the City of London in 1690. James Barclay became a partner in the business in 1736. In 1896, several banks in London and the English provinces, including Goslings Bank, Backhouse’s Bank and Gurney’s Bank, united as a joint-stock bank under the name Barclays and Co.
Barclays was the most powerful transnational corporation in terms of ownership and thus corporate control over global financial stability and market competition, with Axa and State Street Corporation taking the 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively. Barclays operates in over 40 countries, employs over 80,000 people and is the fifth largest bank in Europe by total assets.