Barclays Bank

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Barclays Bank


one of the largest British joint-stock commercial (deposit) banks. One of the “Big Five.”

Barclays Bank arose as a private bank in the 17th century and became Barclay and Company in 1896. Since 1917, Barclays Bank has swallowed up over 80 other banks. It heads the Barclay bank group, which includes the subsidiary banks Barclays Bank (France) and Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas), which has about 1,700 branches in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and elsewhere.

Barclays Bank collaborates with the major banks of Belgium, the USA, West Germany, and other countries. It is linked by personal ties with large military, machine-building, shipbuilding, metallurgical, chemical, and other concerns (such as the Vickers and Ford Motor firms), and major shipping and insurance companies. It handles all types of banking activity. The Barclay group has over 5,000 branches (putting it in first place among capitalist banks in number of branches), 3,400 of which are in England and Wales. In 1968, Barclays Bank merged with Britain’s sixth largest bank, Martins Bank. At the beginning of 1969, the consolidated bank had a joint-stock capital of £83.4 million, reserves of £86.1 million, a balance of £6 billion, deposits of £5.3 billion, loans of £2.7 billion, bills discounted of £300 million, and investments of £700 million.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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