Barclays says au revoir to French retail division in latest non-core asset sale

Hayley Kirton
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A picture taken on March 30, 2010 shows
The sale marks Barclays' exit from retail banking in continental Europe (Source: Getty)

Barclays has today agreed to sell its French retail business, marking the bank's final departure from retail operations in continental Europe.

The lender has agreed to sell the 74 retail branches, life insurance business, wealth and investment management arm, and brokerage operations in France to private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners.

No price was disclosed for the deal, but Barclays noted the sale would reduce its risk weighted assets by around £500m and yearly non-core costs by £130m.

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"The business in France is an attractive one, with a strong customer base and proposition, but it is no longer central to our strategy," said Jes Staley, group chief executive of Barclays. "I wish the business well under new ownership and success for our dedicated colleagues who will become part of AnaCap's portfolio of companies following completion."

The final sale, which is subject to regulatory sign off, is expected to complete by June next year.

Barclays will maintain a French presence through its corporate and investment banking businesses in the country.

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Shares in the bank are down 2.4 per cent at 227.60p at time of writing.

The lender has ditched a number of its non-core assets lately, including completing the sale of its Italian retail network in August.

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