Barclays has agreed to sell its French retail banking division to private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will include the sale by the UK bank of 74 retail branches, a life insurance business, and wealth, investment management and brokerage operations.
The deal is intended to reduce Barclays’ risk-weighted assets by about £500 million and cut its costs by £130 million, as it aims to focus on its core UK and US banking operations instead. It has already sold its less important subsidiaries, including its Barclaycard credit card operations in Spain and Portugal; Barclays Africa, and its wealth and investment management businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Group chief executive, Jes Staley, said “This is another positive step in reducing our non-core unit, creating a more focused, simpler Barclays, and thereby releasing the strong performance of our core business.” He also described how selling the French business “completes Barclays’ exit from retail banking in continental Europe.” The transaction is expected to be completed by June 2017, but will remain subject to regulatory approval.