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Barclays 'not seeking caja acquisition'

Fri 3rd Jun 2011

Barclays Bank are unlikely to expand in Spain in the near term despite speculation earlier this week that the U.K. bank is currently in negociations to buy a Spanish Caja, according to Mediobanca analysts. The speculation came as the CEO of the Bank, Robert Diamond, met with the Spanish Prime Minister over the weekend

The Bank had previously been warned that it should look to either increase it's holding in the Spanish market, or withdraw from the country altogether.

Mediobanca noted that, as opposed to developing it's market share through aquisition "Barclays will be looking to sharpen up performance in Spain with an eye to reviewing its position in that market when it is looking more robust," and may revisit the possibility when the economy of the country was in a stronger position.

Barclays is in the process of closing 120 branches in Spain and cutting staff numbers by 20%. The Bank currently has in excess of 1 million customers and clients in the country and a network of about 590 branches.

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