Barclays announces sale of Spanish businesses

<p>Barclays has sold part of its Spanish business in a deal worth £633 million.</p>

Barclays Bank has announced the sale of parts of its Spanish business to CaixaBank.

In a deal worth £633 million, Spain's third largest lender will absorb Barclays' retail, wealth management and corporate banking business in the country. Following the transaction, Barclays stated that it is still committed to its operations in Spain but will change its focus to key areas where it has competitive advantage. The bank said that it will be putting a concerted effort on both Barclaycard and the investment banking business.

CaixaBank stated that the deal will allow it to consolidate its leadership in Spain and help it gain around 550,000 new customers from the retail banking and private and personal banking sectors. The Spanish lender will help to boost its network of 270 branches and control the 2,400 employees which work for Barclays' Spanish operations.

Gonzalo Gortazar, chief executive officer of CaixaBank, said: "This acquisition will enable us to enhance our personal and private banking businesses in Spain, strengthening our counselling offer to our customers, and will enable us to accelerate organic growth due to the improving economic context."

Barclays has been involved in a major restructuring process in recent months. The bank is planning to cut 19,000 jobs by 2016, 9,000 of which will be from the UK. It has also been looking to create a "bad bank", which pools together the businesses which Barclays considers no longer central to its operations and sell them off or list them on the stock market.

Announcing the transaction with CaixaBank, Anthony Jenkins, group chief executive of Barclays, thanked the company's Spanish colleagues for their "hard work and commitment to customers". He added that the teams will now be consolidated to concerted focus on to the Barclaycard and investment banking operations.

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