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Barclays eyes SocGen's UK private bank - report

(Sharecast News) - Barclays is considering bidding for Societe Generale's UK private bank, it was reported on Thursday. According to Reuters, the blue chip bank - which last week announced the acquisition of Tesco's banking operations - is keen to expand its wealth management business.

Paris-based SocGen has invited bidders to take part in an auction for London-based Kleinwort Hambros, Reuters said, citing unnamed sources familiar with matter. The unit had more than £12bn in assets as at 2022 and could be worth up to £700m, Reuters noted.

Both Barclays and SocGen declined to comment on the report.

Others also invited to bid include Lloyds Banking Group and wealth managers Rathbones and Raymond James, Reuters said, although Rathbones had decided not to participate.

Barclays is due to publish full-year results on 20 February. Chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan is expected to use the results to lay out a new group strategy, as the bank looks to diversify beyond investment banking.

It announced on Friday that it would take over Tesco's retail banking operations in a deal worth up to £600m for the grocer. Around 2,800 banking staff will also transfers to Barclays.

At the time, Venkatakrishnan said the deal would help create new distribution channels for Barclays' unsecured lending and deposit businesses.

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