Barclays has agreed to sell its French retail banking division as it continues its efforts to streamline its business.
Private equity firm AnaCap partners will take over 74 retail branches, a life insurance business, as well as wealth, investment management and brokerage operations. The deal – for an undisclosed sum – does not include Barclays’ corporate and investment banking operations in France.
Talks about a tie-up began in April.
Barclays has been trying to focus on its core UK and US banking operations by selling off less important subsidiaries. It has previously sold its Barclaycard credit card operations in Spain and Portugal, its stake in Barclays Africa, and its wealth and investment management business in Singapore and Hong Kong. Jes Staley, group chief executive at Barclays, said that the French business was “no longer central to our strategy”.
“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.
“The agreement to sell our French business completes Barclays’ exit from retail banking in continental Europe,” he added.
AnaCap invests in the European financial services sector and owns holdings in other banks, including Aldermore in the UK, MeDirect in Belgium and Mediterranean Bank in Malta.The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2017.