June 27, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of one of the great milestones in British banking: the launch of Barclaycard. This small piece of plastic was Britain’s first foray in the world of credit cards and it marked a dramatic innovation in an industry that had changed little in the previous 100 years. But the longer term impact of this event on British banking – and on the UK economy as a whole – was just as large and is still being felt in many ways.
As Barclaycard reaches its 50th anniversary this year, we look back to the card's launch as the UK's first credit card, and how Derek Wilde changed British banking forever with just a six-page plan.
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This article first appeared in Financial World
, the journal for The London Institute of Banking & Finance.