Stewardship - Barclays

Values driven

At Barclays, we have a clear purpose: to help people achieve their ambitions - in the right way. Our values are an important part of helping us to deliver this; they guide us in our business decisions, in how we serve our clients and customers, and how we support our communities.

Our Purpose and Values were launched in 2013, and were partly based on an historical reflection of the principles that Barclays was founded upon. In addition, we published The Barclays Way, supporting our employees to define the behaviours, standards and actions that will help achieve a positive and dynamic culture at Barclays. The Barclays Way provides a framework for how to operate across every business, function and jurisdiction. We provide regular on-going training for all of our colleagues to reaffirm their knowledge and understanding; and every new joiner takes part in Values training when they embark on their career with us.

The evidence that demonstrates how our Values are being embedded throughout our organisation can be seen through our business successes – specifically through our progress around the Value of Stewardship.


Put simply, Stewardship means that we are passionate about leaving things better than we found them.

With a focus on Stewardship, we created and embedded our Barclays Lens – a decision-making tool that challenges employees to consider the long term societal impacts of the decisions they make. This is proving to be an effective mechanism in helping to shape the culture at Barclays, and we have trained more than 66,000 colleagues in how to apply it. In conjunction with colleague development, we formally embedded the Lens into material decision-making processes - including New Product Approval- ensuring that an external perspective is locked in systematically.

Pioneering innovation

Stewardship is also about pioneering innovation and finding better ways to do things. This has been an intrinsic theme throughout Barclays history. We were the first bank to introduce the ATM and we became the first high street bank in the UK to help those with visual impairments by introducing the audio feature to ATMs. It’s essential that banks are constantly aware of societal shifts, and alert to the need to change and improve services to meet customer needs. Our mobile payments technology, Pingit, is just one example of how we have developed a simpler and more convenient way for people to send and receive money without sharing their bank details.

As well as a relentless commitment to innovation within Barclays, we are always looking to champion innovation in others. Since 2013, our Accelerator programme has been providing start-up companies with access to some of the smartest minds in the FinTech world. This has proven to be a powerful partnership, supporting entrepreneurial businesses that will go on to make valuable social and environmental impacts. And we are now launching a parallel programme called Unreasonable Impact to support scale-up social entrepreneurs to generate new jobs in the UK, US and Asia.


Our Shared Growth Ambition

Stewardship guides us to value sustainable progress as much as immediate achievement. In June this year, our CEO Jes Staley launched our new three-year Citizenship plan; our Shared Growth Ambition. Shared Growth is a strategic framework designed to foster the development of products and services that will deliver both societal and commercial value.

We’ve identified three key focus areas where we believe we can use our skills and expertise to have a significant, long-term and material societal impact:

  • Access to financing
  • Access to financial and digital empowerment
  • Access to employment

In defining these areas, we are able to ensure that we have a clear focus in our activities, driving social good in everything that we do so that we can build the foundations for future growth for all.

And we are already making progress: we have invested over £2bn of our own assets into Green Bonds, which are fixed income securities designed to raise capital to finance the low carbon environment; we are also helping people gain financial and digital skills through our Digital Wings programmes; and our LifeSkills programme is helping to improve the skills and employability of young people in many of the countries where Barclays operates.

Continued focus

Barclays continues to work hard to make sure that our five Values remain core to our business. We know how critical our Values are to the future success of our organisation and Stewardship means that Barclays colleagues remain focused on being the best bank we can be in every sense – reputationally, commercially and through the positive impacts we make for our customers, clients and communities.

Diane Varrin Eshleman

Managing Director, Global Head of Citizenship and Reputation
Diane is responsible for citizenship, corporate social policies and related strategic initiatives that drive value for all of Barclays stakeholders.


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