Barclays says will buy Citi’s Portuguese credit card arm

Barclays says will buy Citi’s Portuguese credit card arm

London: British bank Barclays on Tuesday said it had agreed to buy US banking giant Citigroup’s Portuguese credit card division for an undisclosed amount.

“Barclays Bank plc, acting through its Portuguese branch, has agreed to acquire the Portuguese credit card business of Citibank International plc, Sucursal em Portugal," the British company said in a statement.

The deal is expected to complete before the end of the year subject to clearance from regulatory authorities. Citi cards are expected to be rebranded under the Barclaycard name.

“Barclays intends to integrate the Business into its existing Barclays Portugal business, which is part of the Global Retail and Commercial Banking - Western Europe division," the bank added.

Barclays will acquire 400,000 credit card accounts and gross assets of around €644 million ($939 million ) under the terms of the transaction.

“Barclays’ business in Portugal has grown rapidly over the past three years, adding more than 130 branches across the country," said Frits Seegers, chief executive of Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Banking.

“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."

Unlike some of its rival British banks, Barclays has successfully avoided state control, despite a ferocious global financial crisis that erupted back in 2007.

Barclays survived the international credit crunch by courting investment from wealthy Gulf states.