Barclays to buy Citi's Portuguese credit card business

Barclays to buy Citi's Portuguese credit card business

Barclays has agreed to buy the Portuguese credit card business of Citi, as the UK bank looks to expand its presence in Western Europe.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the Wall Street Journal reports that Barclays is paying less than $100 million.

Barclays will acquire around 400,000 credit card accounts with gross assets of approximately EUR644 million. The Citi cards will be rebranded over time

The business, and its staff, will be integrated into Barclays' Portuguese unit, which has over 130 branches.

Frits Seegers, chief executive, Barclays global retail and commercial banking, says: "With this acquisition, we will deliver a real step change in our business, significantly increasing Barclays Portugal's customer base and providing extensive cross-sell opportunities. Barclays Portugal will be a leading international issuer in the country and will be positioned to become a top five player in the cards sector."

With many of its rivals scaling back their business after receiving government bail-out money, Barclays is looking to take advantage and make acquisitions.

According to the Times newspaper, it is currently mulling a move for the banking division of insurer Standard Life, which could be worth up to £300 million.

In contrast, Citi is selling off parts of its business and earlier this week sold the Diners Club Card merchant-location portfolio in Western Europe to Elavon.

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