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  • 104 b/w illus. 1 map 14 tables
  • Page extent: 504 pages
  • Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Weight: 0.89 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521041003)

  • There was also a Hardback of this title but it is no longer available
  • Published February 2008

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 17:01 GMT, 25 November 2015)


This is a history of one of the world's most famous financial institutions from its foundation as a private Quaker partnership in 1690 to 1996. Over the course of its history, Barclays has been the largest bank in the world, in Africa, and in Britain. A pioneer in international trade finance and large-scale branch banking, Barclays was responsible for the first automated teller machine in the world. This history of innovation and expansion is a microcosm of the successes and failures of corporate strategies in banking and is especially illuminating on the twentieth century. Extensively illustrated and accessibly written, the book is deliberately designed to appeal to readers beyond those with a specialist professional interest in financial history. It makes a major contribution to the economic and social history of modern Britain and the contemporary business world.

• A unique corporate history that concentrates on the changing economies of banking in Britain and abroad • Concentrates on twentieth-century developments, and innovations in banking practices • The first banking history to provide full information on issues such as the long-run profitability of British banking


1. Quaker private bankers, 1690–1896; 2. Corporate consolidation and the control of competition, 1896–1945; 3. Stability or stagnation?, 1945–1961; 4. The pace quickens, 1962–1973; 5. Competition restored: regulatory change, universal banking and overcapacity, 1973–1992; 6. Barclays abroad: the transition to global banking, 1945–1992; 7. Tranforming the production of banking services, 1945–1992; 8. Reassessment, rearrangement and renewal, 1993–1996.


'… there are enough intriguing facts throughout the book to appeal even to those with only a slim knowledge of banking.' Euromoney

'The book is handsomely produced, well illustrated, and has extensive and informative statistical appendices.' J. H. C. Leach, The Times Literary Supplement

'There is a substantive comment on the twentieth-century bank data, and a comprehensive statistical appendix. A serious academic read then, well written, with a lot to ponder on.' Richard Saville, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'The narrative is informative in style, but skillfully chosen quotes and references make the book … pleasant reading … I would recommend the book to economic historians and economists interested in banking and financial markets. The book should be compulsory reading for all bankers who dream of making their bank a global player.' Scandinavian Economic History Review

'… this is a splendid book, not least for data appendices which deal with an extensive range of balance sheet items and which make a very considerable contribution to the debate on the profitability of banking in the twentieth century. It deserves to be carefully read by everyone with an interest in the structure and performance of the British economy in the twentieth century.' The Economic History Review

' … a well-balanced business history, constituting a major new contribution to the historical literature on British banking.' Bankhistorisches Archiv

'This lavishly illustrated and superbly produced volume brings Barclays into line with most other major clearing banks, with a solid academic business history.' History

'Barclays constitutes an excellent example of the value of a critical, in-depth, archivally based biography of a leading British company, with much that is of value to both financial and business historians, and to those with a more general interest in the evolution of British banking and business enterprise.' Business History

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