Report: Barclays Considers Selling Part of Its UK Payments Business

UK Regulators Fine Barclays $31 Million

British bank Barclays is reportedly considering selling part of its payments business.

The bank could sell a stake in its unit that processes merchant payments, Reuters reported Monday (Sept. 4), citing unnamed sources.

Barclays could bring in a partner with expertise in how to expand the business, along with raising capital, but it hasn’t determined how large of a piece of the payments operation it could sell, according to the report.

The value of the payments business could be at least $2.5 billion, per the report. 

“We don’t comment on speculation,” a Barclays spokesperson said in an emailed statement PYMNTS. “Our businesses continue to perform well and growing our global payments business is a priority for us.”

That statement echoed what the bank said in June upon reports that it was weighing major changes to its payments operation, which included expanding or merging it with outside providers.

This latest potential deal comes as other banking giants are selling off pieces of their operations, such as Goldman Sachs’ August sale of its personal finance business to investment adviser Creative Planning.

Barclays is among a group of major financial sector players behind Fintech Growth Fund, a $1.2 billion investment fund designed to promote the growth of FinTech in Great Britain.

These companies include consumer-focused challenger banks, payments tech groups, financial infrastructure providers, and regulatory technology firms. The fund is being advised by U.K. investment bank Peel Hunt with a focus on helping growth-stage firms.

The creation of the Fintech Growth Fund has its roots in a government-commissioned review that examined whether the U.K.’s listing environment is unattractive for tech companies.

“The U.K. has faced criticism that it poses barriers to FinTech entrepreneurs, particularly after its exit from the European Union,” PYMNTS reported last month. “This fund addresses these concerns and encourages FinTech firms to float in the U.K. rather than seek listings overseas. The London Stock Exchange has already committed to a number of reforms to attract FinTech firms to list in the U.K.”