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Barclaycard: Barclays seeks US online boost to deposit base

Barclays has revealed that its Barclaycard operation in the US is to offer online savings in a bid to increase US-based deposits.

It follows the announcement three weeks ago that Tom Kalaris, its London-based chief executive of wealth and investment management, would begin spending half his time in New York under his added role of executive chairman of Barclays in the Americas.

Together with Jerry del Missier, CEO of Barclays Americas, Kalaris’ presence is hoped to gain the company a bigger share of wallet across all business lines from larger US clients.

A bigger push in the US has been expected from Barclays, whose investment-banking business in the country has become a top-five player since the acquisition of Lehman Brothers in 2008/9.

Last year, it had been mooted that the firm was on the lookout for a retail acquisition in the US to boost deposits. That now seems to have been put on the backburner in favour of building deposits through online savings.

Barclays is offering high-yield savings accounts and certificates of deposits through its Delaware subsidiary.

The US is an obvious market for growth for Barclays. It is spending heavily in brand awareness. In New York, Barclays is the title sponsor of the new Brooklyn-based stadium for the city’s basketball team, the Nets.

Sources close to Barclays say that US growth is essential. "With greater pressure from a regulatory perspective, Barclays needs to increase the levels of its funding from a US client base," says one person familiar with the bank’s strategy.

He says having two executives dedicated to the US will also draw in a larger US investor interest in the firm. 

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