May 23, 2018

Barclays explores potential mergers with rivals

Barclays has been quietly exploring a potential merger with rival banks, including Standard Chartered. Two people close to the situation said that John McFarlane, Barclays chairman, was keen on the idea of a combination with StanChart, at least in theory, and was supported by Sir Gerry Grimstone, who chairs its Barclays International unit. One senior banker involved in the potential deal said: "John [McFarlane] has a real affinity for Standard Chartered." Another said of the potential deal: "It would be logical but I'd be very surprised if anything came of it." There has been no formal discussion of the potential combination with StanChart on the Barclays board, said one of the people briefed on the situation, who added that it had not been the subject of any detailed work or been discussed between executives and non-executives of the bank. Another long-time adviser to Barclays said "It makes perfect sense", citing the funding benefits that StanChart's large deposit base in Hong Kong and Singapore could bring to Barclays' investment bank.

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