Barclays is a multinational investment bank and financial services company. However, it hasn’t always served so many people. The institution was formed in 1690 by two goldsmith bankers, Thomas Gould and John Freame, both Quakers. The bank originally occupied small premises in Lombard Street in the City of London. As was traditional at the time, partners tended to be selected through marriages arranged to benefit the company. In 1728, Freame’s daughter was married to John Barclay, whose name was added to the company. Eventually, the title was shortened until his name was the only one present.
Over the years, Barclays and Co, as it was known, joined with other banks along Lombard Street, lending money to customers in the City and in the provinces. However, John Barclay set his eyes on a national expansion and amalgamated with banks that had contacts within the world of textiles, which was the most rewarding industry through which to establish a financial institution. By 1896, the amalgamated banks owned 182 branches and more than 800 staff.
In the early 1900’s, Barclays realised its most ambitious aim, gaining control of the Colonial Bank, swiftly followed by the National Bank of South Africa. These were absorbed to create Barclays Bank International. The company headquarters remained in Lombard Street until 2005, when it relocated to Canary Wharf. Today, Barclays operates in 50 countries and has over 130,000 employees. It serves an estimated 24 million customers in the UK alone.
What they offer – Services
While many people think of Barclays as just another high street bank, it offers an extensive range of services, from current and savings accounts for the general public to philanthropic services and corporate finance solutions.
For those of us earning an average income, Barclays offers a range of practical services, alongside its current and savings accounts. For those looking to buy a property, it can provide a range of mortgage solutions. First-time buyers can use a range of online tools to decide which mortgage package would be best for them. For customers looking to re-mortgage their home, Barclays offers strong incentives for those considering switching from their current mortgage lenders. These include cashback and the waiving of standard legal fees, application fees, and valuation charges.
Those looking for a buy-to-let mortgage will find that they can choose payments that suit their business plans and choose between tracker and fixed-rate mortgages. There are even deals that allow the parents of adults who find it difficult to get onto the property ladder to release equity from their homes and give their offspring a helping hand.
In addition, you’ll find the usual credit and debit cards, along with higher-interest accounts for those investing larger sums of money. For customers who do not like operating online, you can call the Barclays telephone number UK: 0871 244 9706.
Opening and Closing Accounts
To open a Barclays account, you can either apply online or in your local branch in person. Regardless of how you choose to apply, you will need to prove your identity and current address. The process is similar for closing the account, with ID and proof of address required, along with your debit card and chequebook.
Where are they?
Barclays’ head office is located in London. Its customer services phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are dedicated numbers for different types of customer, such as for business customers and wealth management companies. If you wish to contact them for general inquires, or wish to be directed to the correct department, please call the Barclays telephone number UK: 0871 244 9706. Barclays operates through several social media platforms and can be contacted through Twitter and Facebook Messenger. However, customers are reminded not to broadcast any personal data in public forums. For users of British Sign Language, there is a SignVideo service.
There are various ways in which you can register a complaint. For those who want to do it online, Barclays operates a ‘Web Chat’ facility, through its ‘Contact Us’ page. Alternatively, there is a complaints form as part of the online banking service. The bank’s policy is to message customers back within two hours.
For those who prefer to use the phone, there are numbers available on the company’s website. Lines are open 24/7. Complaints can also be made by post, addressing your issues to Freepost Barclays Customer Relations, which doesn’t require a stamp. It’s also possible to register a complaint by walking into your local branch and speaking to one of the customer care advisors.
Barclays operates within the boundaries of the General Data Protection Regulation. However, caution is always advisable when sending personal data over the Internet. To help keep your information private, create a strong password for your account. A random selection of letters and numbers is preferable, but do make it something you can remember!