Barclays to sell retail and corporate banking business in Spain to CaixaBank

UK lender Barclays said on Sunday that it is selling its retail and corporate banking business in Spain to CaixaBank for €800 million, or slightly more than $1 billion, as it moves to streamline its operations by selling non-core businesses, The New York Times reported.

The Spanish unit, Barclays Bank SAU, has a 2,400 employees strong workforce across 262 branches, and payment by CaixaBank would represent a steep discount to the unit's net asset value of €1.7 billion.

Even though Barclays had been profitable in its most recent quarter, the UK lender had continued to struggle with a host of large fines and regulatory issues, both at home and in the US.

Also several high-level departures from the lender's executive ranks had been reported this year.

The sale of the Spanish unit includes retail banking, wealth and investment management, as also corporate banking businesses and does not include investment banking or credit card operations.

Barclays added yesterday that it would record a gain of around £119 million, or $197 million, after completing the sale of its retail business in the United Arab Emirates to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

''I am pleased to be announcing further progress on Barclays non-core asset reductions through the transactions announced today,'' Antony P Jenkins, Barclays group chief executive, said in a statement on Sunday. ''We remain on track to rebalance Barclays as part of our strategy to deliver sustainable returns for our shareholders.''

"I want to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues in the Spanish retail banking, corporate banking and wealth and investment management businesses, as well as our retail banking colleagues in the UAE, for their hard work and professionalism over many years."

The UK bank is undertaking a major restructuring to shrink its operations, which is expected to see 19,000 job cuts across the group over the next two years, AFP reported.

Barclays said it had also completed the sale of its United Arab Emirates retail banking business to Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank for €150 million.