Barclays seals purchase of Citi credit card arm

BARCLAYS has successfully completed its acquisition of rival Citibank’s Italian credit card business, allowing it to take control of the divison’s 197,000-odd credit card accounts and €234m (£208.3m) of assets.

Barclays said yesterday that its path had been cleared to complete the deal, originally announced last month, following receipt of competition clearance and consultation with the trade unions.

The bank has not disclosed how much it stumped up for the acquisition.

It plans to rebrand the Italian credit cards over time under its Barclaycard logo.

Barclays, which now has over 200 branches and 100 financial shops in Italy after a strong expansionary push in the region over recent years, also bought Citi’s credit card business in Portugal last year.

Leo Salom, chief executive of Barclays’ global retail and commercial banking operations in western Europe, said that the acquisition would provide Barclays with the perfect opportunity to grow and develop its cards business in Italy.

“The deal will create significant scale for continued growth and development,” he said.