Barclays PLC: CommunityMark Reaccreditation Case Study


The only company to be assessed on its entire global operations in 2011, the financial services provider has demonstrated how community investment is integrated across its business to deliver long-term benefit for communities.

A global strategy

Community investment at Barclays PLC falls within the company’s Citizenship agenda, which focuses on creating shared value - where businesses create economic value and profit in a way that also creates value for society. To achieve this, they focus on three key areas:

  • How they behave as a company: managing against public standards for how they will conduct themselves
  • Their activities: embedding a Citizenship lens on what they do day-to-day, considering the implications of their decisions on their stakeholders, in the short and long term
  • How they contribute to society: how they invest in the communities in which they operate.

Barclays has developed a community investment strategy focussed on three key themes, which aim to empower disadvantaged people to achieve economic independence and security, now and in the future, by developing their:

  • Financial skills – build knowledge and confidence to manage their money efficiently
  • Enterprise skills – set up their own business to provide for themselves, their families and support growth of the wider economy
  • Life skills – literacy, numeracy and employability skills needed to find employment and play a full role in society.

This approach underpins all of the work that Barclays does in communities where it operates around the world. In 2010, more than 62,000 employees across 37 countries took part in community employee programmes.

Making a global difference

Barclays has illustrated its commitment to making a difference to communities where it operates:

  • Approximately half of Barclays community investment spending was outside of the UK between 2008-2010, and the programmes supported more than 1.5 million people across 37 countries in 2010 alone.
  • Under Barclays financial literacy and employability programmes, the company has facilitated over 5,000 work placements; provided enterprise training and support to more than 40,000 individuals and new businesses in disadvantaged communities; and helped more than 500,000 young people build the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage their money more effectively.
  • Through Banking on Change, Barclays partnership with CARE International UK and Plan International, after 30 June 2011, more than 230,000 people have been provided with basic financial services. Through the creation of more than 11,300 savings groups, beneficiaries have collectively saved more than £2.5 million over the previous year, and the value of outstanding loans amongst the groups was £2.1 million. 128 groups have been linked to Barclays Bank local branches and therefore able to access formal financial services.

Delivering more in partnership

Barclays recognises the value of working in partnership, not only with community organisations and non-governmental organisations; but also with business partners. Engaging clients, customers and suppliers illustrates Barclays leadership of the community investment agenda:

  • Barclays has leveraged support for its annual Make a Difference Day campaign, which encourages people to give their time and skills to play an active role in community life by volunteering in hundreds of projects worldwide. In 2011, more than 20,000 of Barclays employees, customers, clients and suppliers took part in volunteering activities as part of the campaign
  • A partnership between Barclays, UNICEF and Heart Radio Have a Heart charity has raised more than £200,000 in the past two years by engaging employees and members of the public to take part in a 10km night walk
  • A number of Barclays suppliers and business partners including Sainsbury’s, hosted work experience placements for people involved in the Barclaycard Horizons programme.