How Sense Worldwide defined the bank of the future for the CEO of Barclays.

In 2010 Antony Jenkins, the CEO of Barclays Global Retail Bank, had a problem. His company had weathered the downturn well, and its share price had bounced back. But he was seeing a new breed of  competitor on the horizon. Google had a banking license, Facebook and Apple had micropayment systems. Sub-Saharan Africa is a critical market for Barclays. In Kenya, a generation were rejecting banking and turning to MPESA, a mobile-based payment company.

Maybe Barclays wasn’t on a burning platform, yet. But it was on a flammable one, and had to act quickly before somebody struck a match.

His challenge to us: Define the bank of the future, and create a Masterplan for building it.

Sense Worldwide embarked on an exploration of the opportunities for new kinds of banking. We quickly concluded that we had little to learn from the category itself; the high friction involved in changing bank accounts was a disincentive for customers to switch brands, or for banks to offer them anything new. Instead, we looked to the attitudes of the coming competition:

barclays timeline

Our presentation was described by Antony Jenkins as ‘The best ExCo meeting ever… Sense Worldwide have given us exactly what we want’. The next step: a floor was cleared at Barclays GRB headquarters in Canary Wharf and an army of technologists and designers were hired.

The results are now starting to become public:


…and there’s more in the pipeline where those came from. There have been other results, too. Antony Jenkins is now worldwide CEO of Barclays Ltd. We can’t take all the credit for that, but we’d like to take a little. Could we do something for your career? Contact us to find out how.