Barclays' four centuries of growth and provision of services in retail banking such as current accounts, savings and investments, mortgages and other loans, credit cards and online banking were surprisingly responsive to the instability present within international financial investment and services corporations across the board (Hoovers 2010). The company also holds majority apportionment of Absa Group insurance (i.e. 59% stockholder). Representation of the Barclaycard in the Spring 2010: Investors Presentation Post Q1 IMS indicated that despite the retraction of revenues from revolving credit within this sector, Barclays saw 'strong income growth largely offset by increased impairment' and 'international diversification of business' with over 50% of the card's customers outside the UK (Barclays 2010). Credit market exposures reduced by 22BN, with protium loans at 7.9BN as of December 31, 2009.
Dating to the 17th century, Barclays Bank is the flagship subsidiary of Barclays PLC financial services group, with retail and commercial operations in 50 countries throughout Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In 2010, Barclays acquired the Italian credit card business of Citibank International Bank; a deal that absorbed 197,000 credit card accounts and approximately 234 million ($320 million) worth of assets globally. Integration of the Citibank acquisition, and including business assets and employees, will be incorporated into the existing Barclays Western Europe division, with conversion of the credit card accounts to Barclaycards (Hoovers 2010). In 2008, the bank had made a more limited purchase of Goldfish, the UK credit card unit of Discover Financial Services for a sum of 46 million ($70 million).
Emerging market expansion has also defied the climate of default within the international financial services sector, and the company has moved forward with strategic agreements made in Asia and Russia between 2007 and 2009. The agreements also include mergers that combine liability through sale of assets with retention of administration, as in the 2007 Barclays sale of its trust administration and custody business in Japan to Sumitomo Trust and Bank for some 21 million ($32 million). In 2008 the Bank acquired Russia's Expobank at 690 million ($750 million), and began negotiations to confirm agreement on 19.5% of New China Trust - just under the maximum 20% investment cap allowed to foreign companies. Finally, in 2009 the group moved to acquire a 99% stake in Bank Akita, Indonesia at 65 million ($100 million). The acquisition includes a rebranding of the company as 'Barclays Bank of Indonesia' which will further the corporation's interests in the region through integration with its global retail and commercial banking services administered by its emerging markets business division.
While many people blame the 2008/09 'credit crunch' on a lack of risk management and unreliable financial reporting by banks, Barclays has shown significant leverage in planning and in critical change management decision making. Although much fiscal risk management looks to the audit process toward implementing strategic measures of mitigation, Barclays strategic model incorporates restructuring of the internal organizational