Barings Bank’s Failure

When establishments, businesses and organizations are prosperous and very successful, barely anyone anticipates that someday they would fall down. Instead, people tend to envision a more dynamic, booming and more successful business whose position would seem stable that no problem can shake it down. This is exactly the case with the Barings Bank. After its share of success, the bank failed due to organizational architecture.

The debacle of the Barings Bank, also called the “Queen’s Bank” (FundingUniverse, n. d.), became one of the hot topics when it comes to banking, finance, economics and management. The case shows an example of how one powerful company can be ruined by its shortcomings.

The Barings Bank achieved success for a long time and was even respected as it was the United Kingdom’s oldest merchant bank (Sungard, 2009). It was established by a team of brothers, Francis and John, in London during the 1700s. During the Napoleonic Wars, the company financed military campaigns in Britain and helped France to recover financially.

The company was also known for assisting America in buying Louisiana from France. Prosperity also rained down when the bank went into international trade (FundingUniverse, n. d. ). Barings Bank has $900 million in capital, but its share of success suddenly went to a halt in 1995 when it suffered from unauthorized trading losses which amounted to $1 billion (Sungard, 2009). Some experts say that the losses showed the ineffective controls and inappropriate incentives within the company (Hentschel and Smith, 1996).

Others think that the demise was a result of financial risk management that went wrong (Riskglossary. com, 1996). For whatever reason, the person responsible behind the bank’s demise was Nick Leeson, a trader promoted as general manager in the Singapore branch. Although he was capable of making millions for the company, he got involved in unauthorized trading activities that initially went unnoticed because he handled trading and back office functions (Sungard, 2009). Leeson traded and made mistakes which the bank’s management did not notice. The more bets Leeson made, the more money he lost.

This indicates that Leeson, who has gained much power and authority, has acted outside the bank’s official authority and worked not in the best interests of the bank’s owners (Hentschel and Smith, 1996). This kind of problem occurs in different settings wherein employees, shareholders and senior management have different interests. It occurs when an agent such as Leeson enjoys private incentives to stray from things that would maximize the company’s value. Also, the structure of the organization can affect employee’s incentives. Thus it can worsen or control the problems.

Three facets of organizational architecture that have effects are reward systems, decision rights and control systems. In reward systems, a compensation package must be readily available and must have “strong incentive components. ” In Leeson’s case, however, the objective is to generate profits and not to stabilize firm value. Compensation based on the contract’s payoff can have bad side effects. Decision rights, on the other hand, indicate that decision rights must be allocated to treasury employees so that internal controls at low cost will be improved.

However, traders and dealers like Leeson have extensive decision rights over their positions. Meanwhile, control systems in the Barings Bank case failed because a difficulty in monitoring within the company existed. The senior management at Barings Bank claimed that they were unaware of Leeson’s activities. To prevent such cases there should be strict control and supervision on business activities. The company could have set position limits so that traders and dealers will not be able to abuse their positions. Another shortcoming of Barings Bank was that it did not separate settlement and trading responsibilities.

Otherwise the company could have monitored all sorts of activities because the separation can facilitate agreement with the set position limits (Hentschel and Smith, 1996). The failure of Barings Bank was attributed to its organizational architecture. Nick Leeson, a trader whose losses caused the bank to go into bankruptcy, worked to generate profits. The power and authority that came with his position blinded him into making bets that he did not win. The bank, on the other hand, failed to make careful control and monitoring over the activities done on its part. References FundingUniverse.

(n. d. ). Barings PLC. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from http://www. fundinguniverse. com/company-histories/Barings-PLC-Company-History. html Hentschel, L. and Smith, C. W. (1996). Derivatives regulation: Implications for Central Banks. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from http://www. simon. rochester. edu/fac/Hentschel/PDFs/DRICB. pdf Riskglossary. com. (1996). Barings debacle. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from http://www. riskglossary. com/link/barings_debacle. htm Sungard. (2009). Barings Bank. Retrieved January 8, 2009, from http://www3. sungard. com/bancware/default. aspx? id=4704

Writing Quality

Grammar mistakes

F (56%)


A (96%)

Redundant words

D (65%)




F (47%)

Total mark


Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyHomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business Studies
Thank you very much for a good job done and a quick turn around time.
Customer 452615, March 31st, 2021
Social Work and Human Services
Although it took 2 revisions I am satisfied but I did receive it late because of that.
Customer 452603, March 25th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 12th, 2023
Social Work and Human Services
Great work I would love to continue working with this writer thought out the 11 week course.
Customer 452667, May 30th, 2021
Customer 452591, March 18th, 2021
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Excellent job
Customer 452773, March 17th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
Looks great and appreciate the help.
Customer 452675, April 26th, 2021
thank you so much
Customer 452749, June 10th, 2021
Thank youuuu
Customer 452729, May 30th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Excellent work ,always done early
Customer 452773, February 21st, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes