Barclays ‘to sell Italian retail arm’: report

It has been reported that Barclays intends to sell its Italian retail banking operations a week after news that the bank had been fined £72 million.

89 branches will be sold to CheBanca! – which is part of the Italian investment firm Mediobanca and the investment is expected to be finalised by the second quarter of next year.

Chief executive Jes Staley said in a statement that these decisions are all part of the focus on the “core business” and provides further evidence of the re-shaping of Barclays Group, Staley said according to City AM.

“We continue to make progress in the reduction of Barclays non-core as we target risk weighted assets of around £20 billion at the end of 2017.”

The Financial Conduct Authority released a statement that explained that the bank failed “to minimise the risk it may have been used to facilitate financial crime.”

However, CityAM reports that the deal was dependant on regulatory approval and the company’s balance sheet at the time of the transaction. It is also expected that the firm will suffer a post-tax loss of £200 million in the fourth quarter because of the sale.

Despite selling the retail banking arm, Barclays will continue to operate its investment and corporate banking as normal in Italy.

In other news, after being sacked earlier this year, former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins has revealed that he was surprised when he was asked to exit the bank.

“Well, I’m a human being, so I have to say that it was surprising to me, but I completely respect the authority of the board in choosing the chief executive. And I’m realistic. I’ve been in corporate life for over 30 years. These things happen,” Jenkins told BBC Radio 4.

New ring-fencing rules still pose a problem for the bank which will be implemented into the retail and investment banking operations, but Jenkins was fervent in making it known that the bank was now “in much better shape”.


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