BZW wins European lending

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BARCLAYS said yesterday that it was switching responsibility for lending to large companies in Continental Europe to its BZW investment banking subsidiary, writes Peter Rodgers.

This follows a switch of large company banking in the US to BZW earlier this year, and a similar move is under way with Asian customers.

But the bank denied the reorganisation was the result of a power struggle between the investment bank and the clearing bank.

Alastair Robinson, who runs Barclays' banking operations, said: 'I don't see a battleground. There is an entire logic to it.'

Mr Robinson gave a joint briefing with David Band, chief executive of BZW, at which they said BZW's investment banking services, combined with the ability to make conventional loans, would be used to persuade large companies in Continental Europe to use the group as its lead bank. About 300 corporate customers are likely to switch.

Barclays has sold its US factoring business, Barclays Commercial Corp, which has dollars 48m assets, to CIT Group Holdings.