Tuesday 8 November 2016 5:41 pm

Barclays is selling its Irish insurance unit, as it continues to ditch its non-core business

Barclays announced today it has agreed to sell its Irish insurance business, marking the latest step in a long journey to scale back its non-core business. 

The bank will sell Barclays Insurance (Dublin) Designated Activity Company and Barclays Assurance (Dublin) Designated Activity Company to Monument Re for an undisclosed sum and the deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of next year.

The two insurance businesses provide underwriting services for payment protection insurance (PPI) and income protection policies, which Barclays no longer sells, and the sale includes about 500,000 remaining policies and related licences. Barclays will retain any related PPI risk. 

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Meanwhile, the lender will continue to offer banking services in the country through Barclays Bank Ireland.

"This sale marks another step forward for Barclays non-core as we continue to manage down costs and risk-weighted assets, and simplify the activities of the group more broadly," said Harry Harrison, head of Barclays non-core. "We are confident that our colleagues in these businesses will have a positive future with Monument and we thank them for their hard work and support over many years."

Shares in Barclays closed up 0.4 per cent at 185.95p.

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The bank has recently shed a number of assets from its non-core business. Last month, it announced it was selling a portfolio of salary secured loans in Italy, its Egyptian bank and its UK trust business. In August, the bank dropped its Italian retail banking network

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