Barclays sells more of its non-core business, but not for as much as it might have hoped

Hayley Kirton
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Another day, another non-core asset dropped by Barclays (Source: Getty)

Barclays announced today it has dropped yet another of its non-core assets, this time its wealth and investment management business in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Barclays completed the sale of the business, which serves high net worth and ultra high net worth clients, to the Bank of Singapore, the private banking subsidiary of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation.

The Bank of Singapore snapped up the business for $225m (£181.6m), or 1.75 per cent of the wealth and investment management division's assets under management when the sale completed.

When the sale was first announced in April, Barclays had hoped to receive $320m, based on the assets under management at that time. However, not all customers opted to have their assets moved to the Bank of Singapore, resulting in the lower final sale price.

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The sale will also decrease Barclays' risk weighted assets by roughly £800m.

"This is another example of the great progress we have made this year in Barclays non-core, as we aim to reduce risk weighted assets to £23bn in 2017 and reintegrate the remainder of the unit back into the group," said Barclays group chief executive, Jes Staley.

"I would like to thank those skilled and dedicated colleagues in Hong Kong and Singapore, who have moved to become part of Bank of Singapore, for their hard work for both Barclays and our wealth clients in the region. I wish them great success in the future."

Barclays will still run its corporate and investment banking businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong.

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"Asia remains a crucial component of the Barclays business plan, and we continue to actively serve our clients across the region from our offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, and Japan," Staley added.

Shares in Barclays are down 1.5 per cent at 212.35p at time of writing, although investors are also likely bracing themselves ahead of the Bank of England's stress test results on Wednesday.

28 November 2016 @ 12:15pmBarclays (BARC)

Barclays has been working hard to shift its non-core assets over the past few years. Earlier this month, the bank announced it had agreed to sell its Irish insurance unit.

Read more: Banks' profitability to be hit by Brexit fears over risky assets

In October, it revealed it was selling a portfolio of salary secured loans in Italy, its Egyptian bank and its UK trust business, while in August the lender dropped its Italian retail banking network.

In its most recent results, Barclays revealed that losses attributed to its non-core division had slipped a further 33 per cent year-on-year for the first nine months of 2016.

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