A merchant bank is a financial institution which provides capital to companies in the form of share ownership instead of loans. A merchant bank also provides advisory on corporate matters to the firms they lend to....
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
until its collapse in 1995 after one of the bank's employees, Nick Leeson
Nicholas "Nick" Leeson is a former derivatives broker whose fraudulent, unauthorized speculative trading caused the collapse of Barings Bank, the United Kingdom's oldest investment bank, for which he was sent to prison...
, lost £827 million ($1.3 billion) due to speculative investing, primarily in futures contract
In finance, a futures contract is a standardized contract between two parties to exchange a specified asset of standardized quantity and quality for a price agreed today with delivery occurring at a specified future date, the delivery date. The contracts are traded on a futures exchange...
s, at the bank's Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...
Barings Bank was founded in 1762 as the John and Francis Baring Company by Francis Baring, with his older brother John as a mostly silent partner. They were sons of John (né Johan) Baring
John Baring (1697–1748)
John Baring came to England in 1717 as a German immigrant, apprenticed to a wool merchant. His decision to settle permanently in England started the Baring family on the road to becoming one of the leading family banking firms in the world....
, wool trader of Exeter
Exeter is a historic city in Devon, England. It lies within the ceremonial county of Devon, of which it is the county town as well as the home of Devon County Council. Currently the administrative area has the status of a non-metropolitan district, and is therefore under the administration of the...
, born in Bremen
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany. A commercial and industrial city with a major port on the river Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen-Oldenburg metropolitan area . Bremen is the second most populous city in North Germany and tenth in Germany.Bremen is...
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...