Barclays has more than 300 years of history. From our beginnings in Lombard Street, London through to the launch of the world’s first ATM and innovative mobile phone payments services, find out more about our achievements to date.

Our History

Build on strong foundations. Over the course of more than 300 years, Barclays has achieved many things – including more than our fair share of being first in the industry. Below are a few milestones in our history.


John Freame and Thomas Gould start trading as goldsmith bankers in Lombard Street, London.


James Barclay, son-in-law of John Freame, becomes a partner in the bank that goes on to become Barclay, Bevan, Tritton & Co.


The Stockton and Darlington Railway is built with funding by Barclays, becoming the world’s first industrial steam railway.


Barclay, Bevan, Tritton & Co. join 19 other banking businesses to form Barclay & Company Limited, with 182 branches and deposits of £26m.


Barclay & Company Limited obtains a listing on the London Stock Exchange.


Barclays Bank D.C.O. (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) is established, employing over 5,000 staff members by the following year.


Barclays appoints the UK’s first ever female branch manager, Hilda Harding, at the Hanover Street branch in London.


Barclaycard, the UK’s first credit card is launched. The following year, we unveiled the world’s first ATM, in Enfield, London.


Barclays becomes the first UK bank to have its shares listed on both the New York and Tokyo Stock Exchanges.


Barclays launches the UK’s first debit card.


Barclays launches its Online Banking service.


Barclays globalises its participation in Make a Difference Day, enabling more than 11,000 employees from 25 countries to give their time and skills to more than 900 different volunteering projects.


Barclays is the first bank in France to be awarded the ISO 14001 standard for complying with international environmental management.


Barclays acquires Lehman Brothers North American investment banking and capital markets businesses.


Barclays launches Pingit and Barclaycard PayTag – two further innovations in the UK banking market.


Barclays is the only universal bank involved in the US Airways and AMR Corporation M&A deal, creating the world’s largest airline.