- The bank started first started in 1690 and enjoys strong market penetration.
- It was the first bank to launch credit cards in UK and thus the brand has become ingrained in the psyche of the consumers. This is further reinforced with the sponsorship deal for the English Premier League.
- Robust financial performance
- Increasing online security to combat fraud. The software will provide greater protection against such fraud.
- Geographically diversified operations.
- The company has a very small presence in the emerging markets of Asia. This can prove to be a strategic error of colossal nature. Nonetheless, this situation can also be turned into an opportunity.
- Lower profit margins. The 2 billion pound write-down in the value of risky assets, led to a fall in profit of 32%
- Low return on assets.
- Expansion into new emerging markets like India. In fact the Barclays credit card was launched in India just a few months ago.
- Acquire a company to inorganically expand its business. Barclays tried unsuccessfully to acquire ABN AMRO of Netherlands. Now it is looking at some of the financial firms in the US like Lehman and UBS.
- Buoyant asset management market
- Positive outlook for global banking industry
- With the high likelihood of Barclays acquiring another financial firm of similar size, it would face huge post-merger integration challenges. This would especially be sharp given its failed attempt to broker a deal with ABN AMRO. There would be negative perception and resistance among the employees of the potential target.
- The latest industry figures show that internet and e-commerce fraud on cards rose 45% in 2007, through skimming, data hacking or unsolicited emails or phone calls. This is a huge potential threat to Barclays in the future.