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Barclays Streamlines Operations: Sells German Consumer Finance Unit to BAWAG Group

Barclays (BARC.L) is selling its German consumer finance business to BAWAG Group AG (BAWG.VI) for a bit more than its net worth. This sale is part of Barclays’ plan to simplify its operations. The Hamburg-based unit will help BAWAG grow its loans and customer base in Germany and Austria.

The transaction, expected to release about 4 billion euros ($4.32 billion) in risk-weighted assets, will boost Barclays’ Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio by approximately 10 basis points, enhancing its capital strength. While Barclays did not disclose the sale price, it confirmed the sale’s significance in improving its financial metrics.

Barclays Streamlines Operations: Sells German Consumer Finance Unit to BAWAG Group

Barclays Streamlines Operations: Sells German Consumer Finance Unit to BAWAG Group

Consumer Bank Europe, the unit being sold, primarily deals in card and loan receivables and had gross assets worth 4.7 billion euros as of March-end. The sale aligns with Barclays’ broader strategy to streamline its operations and focus on corporate, investment, and private banking. Francesco Ceccato, CEO of Barclays Europe, emphasized the bank’s commitment to growth in the German and European markets despite the divestment.

The deal is anticipated to conclude within six to nine months, contingent on regulatory and legal approvals. Barclays’ consumer finance operation in Germany, which employs around 700 people, has been operational since 1991. The decision to sell was influenced by the more conservative spending habits of consumers post-COVID-19.

Following the announcement, shares of both Barclays and BAWAG saw a slight increase of around 1.1%, consistent with the European banking index. This sale is part of Barclays’ ongoing efforts to reduce its retail footprint in Europe, aiming for a more focused and efficient business model.

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