LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays (BARC.L) said on Thursday it had agreed to sell its Barclaycard consumer payments business in Portugal and Spain to Bancopopular-e, pressing ahead with the disposal of unwanted assets under new Chief Executive Jes Staley.
Barclays said the business has assets worth 1 billion pounds ($1.46 billion), and the deal would result in a reduction in its risk weighted assets of 0.9 billion pounds.
The deal will also remove around 70 million pounds worth of annual costs for Barclays, a spokeswoman for the bank said.
“Our credit card operation in Spain and Portugal is a very good business with a highly talented and dedicated workforce but no longer fits with our strategic ambitions,” Staley said.
Buyer Bancopopular-e is a Spanish online bank 49 percent owned by Banco Popular Espanol POP.MC and 51 percent owned by U.S. private equity fund Varde Partners.
The sale would result in the transfer of 800,000 customers and around 500 employees, the spokeswoman for Barclays said.
Barclays said completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approval but should close by the end of the year.
The bank did not give a value for the deal, but said the business would be sold “at a small premium to gross receivables.”
Barclays on Wednesday also said it was in discussions to sell its French retail banking operations to AnaCap Financial Partners as it reported first quarter earnings that were more resilient than expected.
Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Susan Fenton and Keith Weir