Barclays to shut three branches in India, cut jobs

by Sep 25, 2012

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Barclays(BARC.L) will shut three of its nine bank branches in India by the end of this month, two sources with direct knowledge of the development said on Tuesday, as the British bank reduces its retail banking operations in the country.

Britain's fourth-largest bank is expected to cut about 30-40 jobs as a result of the closure of the three branches, one of the sources told Reuters. The sources declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

In December last year, Barclays said it would stop making retail loans as part of its new strategy to focus only on wealth management and corporate and investment banking operations in India.

"We took a decision then to sharpen our focus in India on corporate and investment banking and wealth management and to reduce over time our retail banking presence to a core network of branches serving the high net worth individuals segment," Barclays said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Barclays branches that will be closed are in Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, and Ahmednagar and Junagadh, the sources said. One of the sources said it may shut some other smaller branches over the next few months.

Foreign banks in India face stiff competition from local rivals such as top lender State Bank of India and No. 2 ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS), and have managed to capture only a small share of the country's retail banking business.

(Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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