RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, India

Barclays to reduce retail banking operations in India

Barclays will shut three of its nine bank branches in India by end of September to reduce it retail banking operations in the country.

The Barclays branches that will be closed are in Rajahmundry in southern India, and Ahmednagar and Junagadh in western part of the country, the sources said.

Britain's fourth-largest bank is expected to cut about 30-40 jobs as a result of the closure of the three branches.

Sources said it may shut some other smaller branches over the next few months.

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 announced.

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

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