Barclays has completed the sale of its Barclaycard consumer payments business in Portugal and Spain to WiZink Bank S.A., a Spanish online bank formerly known as Bancopopular-e, which is 51% owned by Varde Partners and 49% owned by Banco Popular Español, S.A.
The business comprises approximately £1.2bn of assets and was sold at a small premium to gross receivables, with customers and employees transferring to WiZink. The sale will also result in a reduction in risk weighted assets of £1bn and a reduction in non-core costs.
Jes Staley, Barclays Group CEO, commented: “During 2016 we have made significant headway in the reduction of our non-core unit, a key component of our Group strategy. We have completed the sale of our risk analytics and index business, Portuguese and Italian retail banks, offshore trusts business and our UK precious metals storage facilities. We have also entered into exclusive discussions for the potential sale of our French retail bank, and agreed to sell our Asian wealth and Egyptian retail banking businesses. The sale of the Barclaycard consumer payments business in Spain and Portugal is further tangible progress towards our target of reducing Non-Core risk weighted assets to c.£23bn in 2017.
“The Barclaycard consumer payments business in Portugal and Spain is a good business with a highly talented and dedicated workforce but no longer fits with our strategic ambitions. I am sure it will continue to thrive as part of WiZink.”
The sale was announced in April 2016 and the completion follows receipt of regulatory and other applicable approvals.
Barclays continues to operate its corporate and investment banking businesses in Spain and Portugal, which are important elements within the bank’s franchise.