The history of Barclays Bank can be traced back to 1690, when the business of goldsmith bankers was established by Thomas Gould in London. It changed the name to Barclays in 1736, and further secured its position on the banking market of London in 1896, when several banks in the capital and the English provinces united under the banner of "Barclays and Co.".
The bank developed greatly over time. In 2016, it was ranked sixteenth among the largest banks globally, with worldwide asset's value amounting to nearly 1.82 trillion U.S. dollars. Its brand value was estimated to be 7.5 billion U.S. dollars in the United Kingdom alone, placing the bank among the leading ten British brands in 2015. It was also one of the leading credit card acquirers in Europe in 2016.
Barclays Bank operates clearly defined business divisions, such as: Barclays Core, Barclays UK, Barclays International and others. In terms of global employee numbers, in 2016, Barclays Core employed approximately 73 thousand full time (full-time equivalent) staff, while employment figures at Barclays UK were at the level of 36 thousand.
The development of Barclays Bank's total asset value shows a trend of decrease, from 1.5 trillion British pounds in 2012 to 1.35 trillion British pounds in 2016. This change should be understood in the context of other leading banks on the British market, which were likewise affected. Notwithstanding the decrease, Barclays Bank retained its second position in terms of assets, ranked only behind HSBC Holdings. The British part of the business, namely corporate and personal banking division at Barclays UK, managed assets worth approximately 287.2 billion British pounds in 2015.
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