Case Study

The collapse of Barings Bank

8 pages
February 1996
Reference: IMD-1-0154

Designed as an overview of the spectacular collapse of a prestigious financial institution, this case outlines the history of Barings Bank, the oldest merchant bank in London, describes how it became involved in Far East markets and how a trader in its Singapore operation, Nick Leeson, was able to run up massive losses on unauthorized dealings which led to the collapse of the bank. The case identifies areas of poor internal control, inadequate board oversight and a remuneration culture that encouraged risk taking. It looks at the role of both internal and external auditors and of the regulatory authorities.

Collapse, Corporate Governance, Board, Banking
United Kingdom
Published Sources
© 1995
Available Languages
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics