Report: Barclays wants to sell Asian WM unit

Added 9th November 2015

The UK-based bank is exploring the sale of the Asia unit amid declining revenue for its global wealth management business, according to reports.

Report: Barclays wants to sell Asian WM unit

Several parties have expressed interest in the Asia wealth managment business, according to a Bloomberg report, which cited unidentified sources. Barclays officials would not comment on the matter.

Last month, the bank announced that James ‘Jes’ Staley will be its new chief executive. He is expected to assume the role in December and is tasked with rejuvenating the bank, which is facing declining wealth management revenue, costs associated with regulatory restructuring and with compensation for past misconduct.

In the third quarter, Barclays’ global wealth management revenue fell 17% to $342m (£227m) from a year earlier, the bank reported.

“The unit has posted declining revenue for the past four quarters, contributing just 4% of the bank’s £5.6bn in revenue in the three months through September” according to the Bloomberg report, adding that no breakdown for Asia wealth management was provided.

Barclays’ possible sale of its Asia unit is a strategy that contrasts with competitors. Credit Suisse, UBS, HSBC and Citibank have all made Asia a key part of their growth strategy.

Credit Suisse recently said that by the end of 2018 it aims to double Asia-Pacific pretax income and double client AUM, currently $132bn (133bn CHF). HSBC is said to be considering a relocation of its headquarters to Hong Kong from London.

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