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Barclays and Woolwich move IFAs into Europe

Barclays Bank and its Woolwich subsidiary are expanding their IFA operation into Europe for the first time, targeting British expatriate customers.

The group will be based in Luxemburg and plans to start providing full financial advice from March. It will trade under the brand of Barclays International Financial Advisory Service as it believes Barclays is a better known name in Europe than Woolwich due to its international banking presence.

Bifas will be headed by Woolwich Independent Financial Advisory Service director Dawn Johnson and will initially have seven advisers.

Johnson will remain a director at UK parent Wifas which, with its subsidiary Sedgwick Financial Consultants, has 400 RIs.

Bifas is expected to run on a commission rather than fee-charging basis and will initially target clients in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Spokeswoman Emma Keens says: “We have applied for a licence in Luxemburg and will be growing the Barclays brand in Europe. The IFA will do exactly what Wifas does in the UK, with the same type of set-up.”

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