About the Site

The site covers a whole range of topics, including the way The City of London works, what part banks play in keeping our economy ticking over, what form different kinds of investments take, what is actually involved in trading in stocks and shares, and so on - even what the such concepts as "derivatives" and "futures" mean!

The site also takes a look at some of the people who work in finance. The material comes in a variety of formats to appeal to different learning styles: cartoons, games, video, audio, exercises, primary sources and of course plenty of useful text information.

The main sections of the site are:

Would You Invest?

At the heart of the site is a game, 'Would you invest?'. In this, pupils try their hand at investment banking in a safe, secure, game-based environment. They will be challenged to consider information from original sources, listen to advice from different angles and reach a decision about whether to invest their money in different proposals. They can find out what factors can affect investments, and why some projects met with failure, despite people's best endeavours at the time. This game is built around real-life investments made (or refused) by Barings over a period of 150 years, and includes characters actually involved in the selected investments. Much of the material in this website is based directly on the vast wealth of resources to be found in The Baring Archive, at 60 London Wall, London. This unique archive is devoted primarily to the history of Barings, one of the most important financial institutions in British - indeed World - history. Letters, accounts, and other material offer an unparalleled view of the history of high finance, and its contribution to the rise of the modern global economy.

The Story of Barings

To put this material into its historical context, the site includes a section, The Story of Barings. In this section pupil's have the chance to learn more about the Baring family and the important role they had in pioneering merchant banking in the UK.

Discover the City

This section provides a survey of what goes on in The City of London. It looks at financial practices such as share and bond issues, Mergers and Acquisitions, Management buy outs and trading in forwards and futures and options. These sections give pride of place to a series of cartoon strips, designed to help young people understand aspects of finance better. The series follows the fortunes of a fictional firm called Butlers as it experiences different stages in its life cycle, and the resultant financial needs. Linked to this information and the cartoons, there are varied exercises, some suitable for younger pupils, some for more advanced pupils aged 15 - 18 years. Students are able to explore at the depth they wish and to have fun and interest on the way. We are sure that many schools will also use these activities as a springboard for further work including aspects of mini-enterprise and small-scale financial activities in the real world.

All About Banks

This section is an in-depth look at the different kinds of banks, what their roles are and how they function.

Meet a Banker

This section contains a series of video interviews of several bankers employed by ING, the Dutch banking group that took over Barings. These bankers discuss their work,and what skills are required to do it well. This section includes links to information about careers in banking.


This is a bank of primary sources taken from The Baring Archive, and includes documents relating to the investments featured in the game, "Would You Invest", plus examples of Share and Bond Certificates (some of which are works of art!).