His Serene Highness Prince Albert visited Barclays’ Monaco Office in early February to view a display of memorabilia from Barclays over the years. Barclays is marking a century of banking in Monaco this year, and the ongoing exhibition is one way that Barclays is celebrating its history and looking ahead to its future in Monaco.

Prince Albert was given a tour of the exhibition, which includes a gold signet ring dating from 1570. The ring was designed by Thomas Gresham, banker to Queen Elizabeth I and founder of Martin’s Bank, the latter which was later sold to Barclays in 1969. Inside the ring is an engraved grasshopper; the Gresham family crest, which was also the sign under which Martin’s Bank traded. Also on display is a letter from the court of Queen Elizabeth I authorising Thomas Gresham to pay her debts in Antwerp, a ledger from Oxford Old Bank – which later became part of Barclays in 1900 – showing the account of Oscar Wilde, as well as the UK’s first credit card; introduced by Barclaycard in 1966.

Throughout 2022, Barclays will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary of opening in Monaco, including supporting the Monaco Ocean Week for the second year running through its partnership with the Foundation Prince Albert II, which aims to safeguard ocean bio-diversity and help maintain a stable climate.

Gérald Mathieu, CEO of Barclays Monaco, said: “It was a great honour to have H.S.H. Prince Albert visiting our exhibit at the Barclays Monaco Office. Barclays was the first international bank to arrive in Monaco in 1922 and, 100 years on, we look forward to continuing to be part of the rich history and future of the Principality.”

Photo: Gérald Mathieu, CEO of Barclays Monaco with HSH Prince Albert © Edwright Images