Barclays (LON:BARC) is not exploring a potential merger with other banks, Reuters has reported. The comments follow a report in the Financial Times which suggested that the FTSE 100 lender was looking at a possible deal with rivals including Asia-focused Standard Chartered (LON:STAN).
Barclays’ share price has fallen marginally into the red in today’s session, having slipped 0.05 percent to 211.00p as of 09:42 BST. The shares are marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.54 percent in the red at 7,834.87 points.
Barclays has no tie-up plans
Two sources close to Barclays told Reuters today that no deal was in the works and the blue-chip lender had no plans to combine its operations with any of its rivals. The comments were in response to a report in the Financial Times that the FTSE 100 group’s senior board members were exploring a deal with another bank and chairman John McFarlane was keen on the idea of a possible combination with StanChart.
“We see absolutely no strategic logic or rationale behind such a transaction,” Edward Firth, analyst at KBW in London, told Reuters, citing the bank’s differing strategic problems that would not be solved by a merger.
Sensitive time for lender
The news comes at a sensitive time for Barclays, which has been under pressure to improve profits at its investment banking business. Earlier this month, reports suggested that activist investor Edward Bramson was calling on the group to end the bulk of trading activities at its investment banking division. The FT’s report meanwhile suggested that exploring a potential tie-up deal was part of wide-ranging contingency plans being considered by the bank in response to pressure from Bramson.