International

Barclays Nixing Card Business In Two Markets

In the latest sign of retooling and streamlining, U.K. bank Barclays said that it is selling its Barclaycard credit card units based in Portugal and Spain.

The sale is to Bancopopular-e, the Spanish online bank, The New York Times reported. Bancopopular-e is owned by Banco Popular Español and Varde Partners. The deal, slated to close by the end of the year, is also contingent upon clearing regulatory hurdles.

Though no purchase price was reported, the businesses being unloaded have assets of roughly £1 billion ($1.46 billion), NYT reported.

Barclays' ongoing strategy under recently installed Chief Executive James E. Staley has been one where the financial firm has been busy shedding assets it does not consider to be core assets. The most recent divestitures have been to get out of retail banking operations in Spain, Portugal and Italy. The firm said earlier in the week that it has been in discussions with AnaCap Financial Partners with an eye on selling French operations, also in retail. The tightening focus has brought Barclays to bear on its British consumer bank and also its corporate and investment banking operations.

In a statement detailing the transaction, Staley said: “I am delighted by the speed with which we are continuing to reduce our noncore exposure and costs. Our credit card operation in Spain and Portugal is a very good business with a highly talented and dedicated workforce but no longer fits with our strategic ambitions.”

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