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Barings Bank

Barings Bank

What Was Barings Bank?

Barings Banks was a British merchant bank that collapsed in 1995 after one of its traders, 28-year-old Nick Leeson operating in its Singapore office, lost $1.3 billion in unauthorized trades. Barings was one of England's most seasoned merchant banks and at a certain point, even Queen Elizabeth II had an account with it.

Understanding Barings Bank

Established in 1762, Barings was among the largest and most stable banks in the world. Nonetheless, because of unauthorized speculation in futures contracts and other speculative dealings, it stopped operations on February 26, 1995. The direct reason was its inability to meet its cash requirements following those unauthorized trades. Even efforts by the Bank of England to organize a salvage package couldn't deflect the inevitable collapse.

Before the bank's collapse, it was bringing in money by exploiting arbitrage and making investments in foreign economies. Quite possibly of the best choice Barings made as a bank was to not invest vigorously in Germany after World War I, saving them a gigantic amount of money while the German economy wavered.

The bank had been participated in huge international moves also, financing the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and supporting the United States during the War of 1812.

Barings Bank Collapse

Leeson reputation from that point forward was one of a rogue trader, operating without supervision or oversight. At the hour of the loss, he was assigned to a arbitrage trade, buying and selling Nikkei 225 futures contract in both the Osaka Securities Exchange in Japan and the Singapore International Monetary Exchange, in Singapore. Notwithstanding, rather than starting simultaneous trades to take advantage of small differences in pricing between the two markets, he held his contracts, expecting to create a larger gain by betting on directional moves of the underlying index.

Exacerbating the situation, Leeson concealed his losses with accounting stunts. Had the bank discovered this before, it would have taken large however not annihilating losses and stayed dissolvable. Tragically, the firm was declared bankrupt under seven days after Leeson's trading losses were at long last discovered. After this episode, Leeson was captured and condemned to six and one-half years in a Singapore jail. Be that as it may, he was delivered in 1999 after a conclusion of colon malignant growth.

Barings Bank Acquisition

All the Dutch bank ING Group, purchased Barings Bank in 1995 for the nominal sum of \u00a31.00, assuming Barings' liabilities and framing the subsidiary ING Barings. A couple of years after the fact, in 2001, ING sold the U.S.- based operations to one more Dutch bank, ABN Amro, for $275 million. ING's European banking division absorbed the remainder of ING Barings.

The Barings name lived for some time in just two divisions, the two of which were auxiliaries of different companies. Uncovering Asset Management (BAM) is currently part of MassMutual. BAM's Financial Services Group turned out to be part of Northern Trust until taken private in 2016.

Hollywood Movie

In 1996, and keeping in mind that in jail, Nick Leeson delivered his collection of memoirs named, "Rogue Trader: How I Brought Down Barings Bank and Shook the Financial World," in which he point by point his acts leading to the collapse of Barings. The book was subsequently made into a fictionalized film featuring Ewan McGregor as Leeson.

Diana, Princess of Wales, was the incredible granddaughter of Margaret Baring.

Examples From the Barings Bank Collapse

The collapse of Barings sent a shock through the investment banking and trading industry. In spite of the fact that there was critical overlapping of Leeson's duties and the fraud ought to have been discovered significantly sooner, the way that it occurred in the amount that it did, provoked the two investigations into banking and new rules being put into effect.

The banking sector discovered that there ought to never be a trader dealing with their own accounting books. New layers of security likewise guaranteed that a trader couldn't change their trades after they were placed and that all derivatives trades are placed through a clearinghouse. This adds one more record of the trade, presently in the hands of a third party.

In any case, even in spite of the new regulation and oversight, a rogue trade named Jerome Kerviel piled up losses adding up to considerably more than Leeson's.

Question and Answer

The Bottom Line

Barings Bank used to be one of the world's most impressive financial institutions. Be that as it may, one single trader bankrupted the institution, and it stopped operating in 1995 as Barings Bank. The lack of oversight for the managerial trader, Nick Leeson, has helped a valuable illustration to banks all around the world — watch out for your traders.


  • Barings, having lost north of one billion dollars (over two times its available capital) failed.
  • Barings Bank was a UK-based merchant banking firm that failed after a trader named Nick Leeson took part in a series of unauthorized and risky trades that turned sour in 1995.
  • The bank's assets were thusly acquired by the Dutch ING Groep, shaping ING Barings. This subsidiary was subsequently sold to ABN Amro in 2001.
  • Following the trading disaster, Leeson composed his suitably named Rogue Trader while spending time in jail in a Singapore jail.
  • The Barings Bank crisis would have been stayed away from on the off chance that the bank had maintained its own risk management procedures and not permitted a trader to likewise approach their own trade logs and accounting desk work.


What Was the Baring Crisis of 1890?

The Baring Crisis of 1890 was a minor and intense recession. The bank was facing bankruptcy subsequent to making substantial investments in view of the flourishing nation of Argentina. Nonetheless, due to inflation and a terrible harvest in 1889, an upset resulted in 1890. Barings attempted to cover their losses by borrowing money from different banks however they ended up overstretching themselves. The Bank of England alongside different banks basically rescued Barings to stay away from a more systemic financial crisis.

How Could Have Been Prevented the Barings Bank Collapse?

Preventing the collapse of Barings Bank comes down to oversight. Assuming there were a couple of sharp managers monitoring the trades of their trading departments, Leeson most likely couldn't ever have taken the risk. His ability to place the speculative trades depended on the simplicity in which he could conceal the trades and, eventually, the tremendous losses.

What Were the Risk Management Failures at Barings Bank?

Barings Bank failed to monitor its traders sufficiently close. They permitted a rogue trader not exclusively to place trades that directly disregarded their trading rules, however the lack of a third-party supervisor checking the trading logs let Leeson exploit the system for a really long time.