The Spectacular Collapse of Barings Bank. In 1995, Barings was forced into instant bankruptcy by the rogue trading of a single 28-year-old employee in the Singapore office: Nick Leeson. The investment bank founded in 1762 by John and Francis Baring wasn’t just any bank — it was a British establishment. In 1802, it helped to negotiate the Louisiana Purchase from France, and later it helped finance the U.S. government during the War of 1812. The bank boasted not a logo but a crest.