Our history

From our small London beginnings more than 300 years ago to today’s current operations, Barclays has always been driven by strong values and the ultimate goal of helping our clients and customers achieve their ambitions in the right way.

A story of innovation

Play Barclaycard A Story of Innovation Video (opens pop up)

Our story begins in 1690 when John Freame and Thomas Gould started trading as goldsmith bankers on Lombard Street, London. In 1736 John’s son-in-law, James Barclay, joined the business giving it the name we know today. Since then, Barclays has been a leader in innovation; funding the world’s first industrial steam railway, naming the UK’s first female branch manager and introducing the world’s first ATM machine. And those are just a few highlights from our first 300 years.

Today, Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for 48 million customers and clients worldwide.

Along the way Barclays has always focused on serving the needs of its customers. In the US, Barclays Online Banking brings an accessible, intuitive and secure banking experience to customers. And we‘re growing every day. For more, watch our "About us" video to see the whole story.

Our Values


We respect and value those we work with, and the contribution that they make.


We act fairly, ethically and openly in all we do.


We put our clients and customers at the center of what we do.


We use our energy, skills and resources to deliver the best, sustainable results.


We are passionate about leaving things better than we found them.