Barclays Bank PLC is one of the largest international organizations with over 4750 branches across fifty or more countries in Africa, Europe, North America, South America, and Asia. The bank is estimated to have forty-eight million customers across the globe (Ahuja 2013). It is a British multinational banking company with financial services and headquarters in London. In 2010, Barclays Bank was ranked the tenth largest company providing banking and financial services in the world. Over the years, the bank has also shown massive expansion in terms of employees, branches, and assets.
Barclays Bank PLC specializes in corporate, investment, wealth management, and global retail banking. Its wide products and services are offered to the targeted group of customers in the global market. On the London Stock Exchange, the bank has a primary listing with approximately 21.8 billion euros as of December 23, 2011. On the New York Stock Exchange, the company has a secondary listing (Henneman 2011). This report will provide an analysis of Barclays Bank with recommendations on how it can enhance sustainability and growth. The latter are influenced by conditions resulting from the rollercoaster economy and stiff competition in the banking industry,
One of the core strongholds of Barclays Bank is that it has identified sustainability as the best means of not only recognizing, but also managing political, economic, social, technological, and environmental issues (TNN 2004). It is done together with sharing the value added with society at large. The PEST analysis is a model used to identify factors that may hinder sustainability in the organization.
Political factors include government policies, tariffs, and taxes. The government, NGOs, and other non-for-profit organizations have enhanced the sustainability of Barclays Bank through highlighting such global issues as climate change, poverty, demographic shifting, and scarcity of resources. The company is also focusing much on the wider nature of business. Since it is operating in different countries, where it has to meet various requirements, including the payment of taxes, the business has diversified its operations (Chrisnell 2005; Meller 2008). In many countries, where the business is operating, there is political stability. It is also the same case in emerging economies. Therefore, the bank should take advantage of political stability to reach customers at the local level. It is a strategy that has helped many local banks thrive despite the competition. Since Barclays has differentiation strategies, it should take them as a milestone in winning against local banking institutions at the local level.
The sustainability approach has enabled Barclays Bank to receive help from the government and other organizations through research, development, and dialogue. It shows transparency in the organization. In different countries, where it operates, the bank has focused on corporate responsibility as a way of sharing the value added with society at large (David 2005). It has helped the organization to establish economic advantages in different nations where it operates. In emerging economies, there is economic stability. For instance, China and India show high GDPs; thus, the bank should take advantage of economic stability and establish extensive operations in these countries (TNN 2004).
The sustainability strategy that the bank has focused on improves the value of the business in the eyes of its stakeholders. The customer has been the priority of the company, which keeps on undertaking marketing research to understand the needs of the former. Through this, Barclays can enhance customer satisfaction (Davis & Topel 2004). The bank also focuses on innovative solutions as a way of enhancing performance and meeting the needs of customers. The latter are also provided with different types of products and services for the company to be able to explore their tastes and preferences. Employees in the organization are also regarded as hugely important for the general success of the business. They are always treated well and given the freedom to exercise their talents. In addition, they are well-trained and educated to serve customers according to the standards of the competent world (Evans 2007). It attracts employees from different corners, retaining those, who have been already working for the organization.
Barclays Bank has advanced in the use of technology, especially in the areas of inclusive banking. It gives customers a benefit to fight poverty, while the organization develops competitive advantage through this (Foxell, Goldsmith & Brown 1998). Technological research is highly upheld, especially due to the understanding that technology changes at the speed of light all over the world. The organization has an advantage of being international, since it acquires diverse ideas from different countries and applies them to its divisions, if the former are found effective (SlideShare Inc. 2013).
Environmental factors relate to the well-being of customers and all those in the surrounding area. In different countries, where Barclays Bank has established operations, it has engaged in sustainable development and corporate responsibility. There are different projects geared towards enhancing environmental sustainability, in which the bank is involved directly or indirectly (Grant 2005).
Legal analysis takes into consideration laws, regulations and the general regulatory framework of a firm. In emerging markets, there are many regulations in the banking industry.
It is due to many decisions on market control are made by governments and central banks (Hatch 2006; Hepburn 2005). Barclays has no option but to adopt these regulations by finding strategies for entry and increasing market share.
The economic crisis that hit the world in the past years led to the massive downfall of financial institutions. However, the ones that have survived have fears concerning further investments, due to they associate this with many risks. Therefore, Barclays Bank should take advantage of these fears and challenges that financial institutions are facing to enhance market penetration. The company should have a development strategy of increasing its market share as a way of winning against its financial rivals that will rise in the future (Hill 2009). The launch of a new prepaid card will be a crucial step towards sustainability and tremendous growth, due to it will counter all non-traditional financial institutions posing a significant threat in the market.
From the global point of view, some economies show superb performance. These include China and India; therefore, the organization should prioritize the development strategy in these countries. Since many financial institutions find much interest in the two economies, Barclays should develop differentiation strategies with the main one being the tested prepaid card product (Johnson, Scholes & Whittington 2008). It is expected to attract many customers in these countries. New strategies will work in line with the organization’s slogan “Now there’s a thought”.
Having a global network in more than fifty countries is an advantage that Barclays Bank has over many international banking systems (Barclays Bank PLC 2012). It is a kind of differentiation that is critical. For instance, the crisis that has hit the European Union in previous years has affected the organization less than other institutions, and it has other strongholds, where it shows exemplary good performance (Keiningham, Cooil & Aksoy 2007). Big markets that the bank has entered are an advantage that makes it possible to differentiate its products and services at the national level. It should be considered especially in different nations with ailing financial institutions. As the bank opens branches in more countries, this should be an opportunity to engage stakeholders more. They will also feel involved in corporate governance as it is expected.
Corporate governance is crucial for the business. It was enhanced through stakeholder involvement in the past. Apart from customers, there are business owners and funders, who have high expectations. Therefore, when they are actively involved, this acts as a way of curtailing the latter. They will also be in a position to be familiar with all activities of the organization.
Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
Barclays aims at expanding its operations in existing and strongly emerging markets as a way of increasing its market share. Through the analysis of the entry mode, the sustainability of the banking institution can be identified. The Porter’s five forces analysis is used to measure the ability of the organization to perform well in foreign economies.
There are some barriers to the entry in emerging markets, including China and India, because they are highly regulated by the government and local central banks. There is also the same situation in many African nations (Kotler & Armstrong, 2007). In these potential markets, money supply, interests on loans and deposits are controlled by the government and central banks through decisions they make. In India and China, Barclays Bank is not that popular, due to people invest in governmental and public banks. It is an advantage for Barclays to use its development strategy as a market entry technique, since customers will have quick and efficient services; thus, the company will attract many of them. The availability of some local banks that are highly acknowledged by citizens is also a barrier to entry (Waldersee & Tywoniak 2007; Lee & Ishii 2009). It is quite evident in Africa, where people at the grassroots, who are current target customers, tend to apply to local institutions, when it comes to banking services (Wagner, Bicen & Hall 2008).
Rivalry among the Existing Competitors
In emerging markets, there is a clear indication of rivalry between public and other microfinance institutions. In some nations, existing banks have a negative attitude towards international banks. In some countries, Barclays enjoys a competitive advantage (Soffer & Wand 2005; Insead 2004). However, in China and India, the application of development strategies can make the company acquire substantial stakes and have easy entry.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers
There is a medium power among people, who raise funds to the organization. The main sources of revenue are customers and depositors, who are defined as suppliers of the business. With the introduction of the Barclays card, the number of customers and depositors are expected to increase (Smith & Milligan 2011). It will be crucial meaning that the company’s bargaining power will be low. In addition, customers and depositors will increase supply by raising the volume of funds.
Bargaining Power of Customers
Customers in different target markets have high bargaining power using services and products of the bank. It is because of the large number of banking institutions operating in the markets and offering the same services and products. It gives customers power to choose what they want or what will satisfy their needs from the large number of options provided. However, Barclays can take advantage of E-banking and insurance services it provides to its clients to increase its market share (Schermerhorn 2007). Differentiation is the only strategy that the bank can use to bring the bargaining power of customers down.
Threat of Substitutes
The threat of substitution is unusually low. It is because the company has already established itself firmly in the international market. In addition, Barclays Bank is constantly engaging in more extensive research and innovations.
Many products and services offered by Barclays Bank are highly recognized in the market. It is enhanced by sustainability through innovations and the use of technology at all levels of the business. For instance, E-banking has helped the bank increase its market shares in some countries. Its products and services are also reliable. Only in rare cases, the failure of operations was reported, and immediate measures were put in place to avoid a negative public image (Shane & Kolvereid 2009). Generally, products and services of the company are competitive in nature; however, there is still the need for more thorough research and innovations.
The company has branches distributed in over fifty countries across the globe. However, in many countries, the bank has not reached enough people at the grassroots. It provides an opportunity for investment by ensuring that Barclays will go local at the national level.
Since there are many banking institutions in the market, customers are extremely price-sensitive. It is seen through interest and deposit rates that the latter consider to a large extent. In many countries, a problem is that the government and central banks have a direct influence due to they make decisions controlling the market (Wilson 2007). In other words, it is difficult to differentiate; thus, what the bank has done is standardizing its prices at the international level.
Promotion is a marketing strategy that is used by the company, especially in economies, where it needs to establish its operations. The business also offers bonuses, discounts and commissions that target many customers. In addition, Barclays Bank identifies potential customers, whom it treats with diligence. As a result, they invest and bring more funds in the business. Promotions are used to entice customers and depositors, due to they are suppliers of the company.
Barclays Bank should carry out marketing research in economies, in which it plans to invest. Some of them may look potential for investments, but when it comes to banking, there may be many challenges that may hinder the business from performing (Wogalter 2006). Marketing research should also include a competitor analysis, especially in the markets, where there are potential rivals.
Corporate social responsibility is a strategy that is used by many companies that have tremendously performed for many years. Barclays Bank should make its CSR operations local rather than doing them at the international level. It will be a strategy that will diversify its operations, due to it will be widely known at the local level. In addition, the business will involve more people, if engages in CSR at the local level (Yoo, Donthu & Lee 2000; Wong & Taylor 2000). It will attract many customers, which is the core goal of the business. The company should also engage in segmentation, targeting and positioning to ensure that its products and services reach the right people. It should be achieved through massive research conducted on the international market. It will further ensure that the bank takes advantage of any opportunity that arises. Stakeholders will also get involved, due to they are key players. It is crucial for the completion of the development plan.
Summary and Conclusion
Barclays Bank was a key performer in the previous years. Despite challenges that faced the company, its key goal of enhancing sustainability helped it remain stable. Considering that the organization is international, there are many opportunities for increasing its market share. It is because its operations in more than fifty countries present a diversification strategy (Barclays Bank PLC 2012). Considering that there are many technological, social, and economic changes taking place in the world, the company should uphold its development strategy. It is crucial to ensure that it remains competitive despite the new trends. Technological research and innovation should be a priority for the business after employees and customers. Customer satisfaction should be enhanced by all possible means, since consumers are the main suppliers of the business.