Barclays to sell Spanish business: Reports

After nearly 40 years in the Spanish market, Barclays bank may be eyeing an exit from the country, Spanish media reported on Friday.

Barclays to sell Spanish business: Reports
File photo: Andrew Cowie/AFP

Barclays is looking to sell off its crisis-hit Spanish subsidiary, national newspapers including Expansion and El País reported on Friday.

The bank with some 2,800 staff and 271 offices in Spain has contacted possible advisers including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to get a feel for what the bank might fetch on the market, the dailies claim.

The possible sale of Barclays Spain has been on the cards for several months, according to Expansion.

The subsidiary lost €681 million ($933 million) from 2011 to 2013 and has halved the number of offices in that period, while staff numbers have been slashed by a third.

El País said a "very preliminary poll"  showed banks including Sabadell or Bankinter might be interested in buying out that part of the bank focusing on wealthy customers.

But the paper said the bank might prefer to sell off all of its Spanish business, if the price was right.

Barclays declined to respond, saying it did not comment on market rumours.

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