Barclays said it would buy the British online arm of Dutch bank ING for an undisclosed amount, refocusing attention on its retail division in the wake of the Libor interest rate scandal.
It is the first acquisition by Barclays' new chief executive Antony Jenkins, the bank's former retail and business banking head who in August replaced Bob Diamond following the latter's resignation over Libor.
"Barclays Bank PLC announces that it has agreed to acquire the deposits, mortgages and business assets of ING Direct UK," Barclays said in a statement.
The deal followed ING's decision in August to exit the British retail banking market after a strategic review.
"The transaction confirms ING's determination to push through its restructuring, while it may also be an indication that Barclays' new CEO intends to focus more on the group's retail banking franchise," said Simon Adamson, analyst at CreditSights research group.
The bank's investment arm has been severely rocked by the Libor affair, which erupted in June when Barclays was fined £ 290 million ($ 465 million, 359 million euros) by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009.
The scandal led to the resignations of three leading Barclays executives — Diamond, chairman Marcus Agius and chief operating officer Jerry del Missier.
The fallout risks becoming much wider, however, with analysts claiming that the lender could face massive lawsuits, since mortgage rates passed onto customers were influenced by Libor — which along with Euribor rates are crucial to the operation of short-term financing.
Although Barclays is the only bank to have been fined over Libor, it is understood that at least 15 lenders globally are being investigated for potential rate manipulation.
ING Direct UK meanwhile is a direct banking platform launched in 2003 which offers clients savings and mortgages products through secure online and mobile Internet channels. Two call centres in Britain provide customer support.
"Barclays intends to integrate the ING Direct UK business into its UK Retail and Business Banking division," the British company said on Tuesday.
"Until integration, Barclays will continue to utilise ING Direct UK's operations and platforms to service existing customers.
"Customers are expected to continue to enjoy at least equivalent terms and conditions to those which they currently enjoy with ING Direct UK."
Barclays will acquire ING Direct UK's deposit book with balances of £ 10.9 billion and a mortgage book with outstanding balances of £ 5.6 billion.
The group added that about 750 ING employees and 1.5 million customers will transfer to Barclays.
ING said it expected to book a transaction loss of 320 million euros after tax, which would be offset by a release of risk-weighted assets of the same value.
The deal is expected to complete, subject to regulatory approvals, in the second quarter of next year.
Other ING Direct units are not affected by the announcement.
In late afternoon European trading, shares in Barclays were up 0.74 percent at 224 pence, while ING gained 0.46 percent to 6.49 euros.