Barclaycard celebrates 40th birthday

28 June 2006
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Barclaycard, the first UK credit card company, which was established in a converted shoe factory in Northampton.

First hitting the high street in 1966 with over one million people signing up at its launch, Barclaycard has grown to become the UK's most popular consumer credit card with over 11 million cardholders in Britain alone, and a further four million worldwide.

"This is an important date for credit cards in the UK," claimed Barclaycard chief executive, Antony Jenkins.

"When my predecessor, Dickie Dale, first introduced Barclaycard in the UK, there were only a handful of outlets that accepted a credit card, we had one office that housed just under 300 people and each transaction had to be verified over the phone with a member of Barclaycard staff.

"Now, 40 years on, Barclaycard employs over 7,000 people worldwide and plastic payments have changed the social and economic landscape in the UK," Mr Jenkins continued.

"Cards are now the British consumer's first choice in how they pay and access to credit is an important factor in the UK economy."

The credit limit on the very first Barclaycard was £100 – an amount roughly equivalent to the average credit limit of consumers in the UK to this day.

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