Barclays made it clear that it was looking to return to its investment banking heyday when it appointed former hedge fund executive Jew Staley as its new CEO this month.
Now, only a few days after he joined the group, Barclays announced that it is selling off its Italian retail banking network of 89 branches to CheBanca!, a member of the Mediobanca Group.
The British bank added that it is also selling off a “broadly balanced portfolio of assets and liabilities” to the group.
Of course, though, Barclays confirmed that it will continue to operate investment banking and corporate banking in Italy. It will also continue to manage the remaining retail mortgage portfolio.
“This transaction is further evidence of the re-shaping of Barclays Group to focus on our Core businesses. We continue to make progress in the reduction of Barclays Non-Core as we target risk weighted assets of around £20bn at the end of 2017,” said Jes Staley, CEO at Barclays.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank our Italian colleagues in the businesses we are selling for their hard work and professionalism which has built strong customer and client relationships over many years and has made these businesses so attractive to CheBanca!. We are committed to making the transfer to CheBanca! a smooth one for our customers and colleagues.”
Barclays added that it expects to boost a £200 million post tax loss following the transaction but it will book a £800 million decrease in risky assets after the trade is completed.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and investors expect to hear the result in the second quarter next year.