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Retail

Tesco To Sell Banking Operations To Barclays

By Reuters
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Tesco To Sell Banking Operations To Barclays

Barclays will buy most of the banking operations of Britain's biggest supermarket group Tesco for about £600 million (€702.6 million).

The supermarket group said the majority of the proceeds would be returned to shareholders through an additional share buyback.

The deal will see Tesco sell its existing banking operations in credit cards, loans and savings, removing £7.7 billion (€9 billion) of capital-intensive assets and £6.7 billion (€7.9 billion) of financial liabilities from its balance sheet.

Tesco will retain all other existing activities of Tesco Bank, including insurance, ATMs, travel money and gift cards, which are capital-light.

A Strategic Partnership

Tesco and Barclays have also formed a strategic partnership, initially for 10 years, that will see Barclays offer Tesco-branded banking products and services.

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Ken Murphy, Tesco Group Chief Executive commented, “Tesco Bank is a strong business that has helped millions of loyal customers to manage their money for more than 25 years.

“As we look to the future, our aim is to be the best provider of financial services in the UK, with this strategic transaction and partnership with Barclays unlocking greater value for customers and for our business.”

About 2,800 Tesco workers will transfer to Barclays.

The acquisition and partnership, which are subject to regulatory approval, are expected to be completed in the second half of 2024.

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'New Distribution Channels'

C S Venkatakrishnan, Barclays Group chief executive added, “This strategic relationship with the UK's largest retailer will help create new distribution channels for our unsecured lending and deposit businesses.

We are able to bring our expertise in partnership cards developed over decades in the US to enhance further the highly successful Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme. This partnership with Tesco is a further demonstration of the investment we continue to make in our UK consumer business.”

In January, Sainsbury's said it would wind down its banking business and instead offer financial products through third parties, as part of a strategy to focus on its core retail operations.

Analyst Note

According to Shore Capital, the deal is an 'outstanding outcome for its shareholders'.

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For Tesco shareholders, this deal removes a frankly non-core activity, where it was a small fish in a pond of banking aquatic monsters, requiring considerable capital to compete, it noted.

Shore Capital added that it expects shareholders to 'welcome the return of the proceeds through the ongoing and now compounding buyback'.

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM.

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