“What is all this about being big?” asked the actor Anthony Hopkins in a famous (if toe-curling) ad from 2000 for Barclays Bank. “You know, seeing the big picture, having the big idea, clinching the big deal; no one wants to clinch the little deal.” For decades the British bank followed this restless urge, always trying to get bigger, to keep up with the biggest banks in the world. Neil and Jonathan talk to author and former banker Philip Augar about where it came from, how it led a stuffy old British bank to tie themselves to the one man who seemed able to deliver bigness, Bob Diamond, and how those aspirations turned to dust.


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Presented by Jonathan Ford and Neil Collins.