The rise and fall of the Barings banking dynasty

Barings Bank was one of the most prominent and oldest merchant banks in the world, with the family even earning the nickname 'the sixth great power'. Then it all came crashing down.

The 250-year-old Barings banking dynasty is best remembered nowadays for the bank's spectacular implosion in 1995, when rogue trader Nick Leeson incurred £800 million worth of unauthorised trading losses -- close to the total of its assets.

However, few remember that Barings bank was one of the most prominent banks in the world for two centuries. The Barings family founded not only the oldest investment house in Britain, but also financed the wars against Napoleon Bonaparte.

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