Barclays is in exclusive talks with private equity firm AnaCap Financial Partners over a deal to sell its French retail banking operations.
The French arm includes a network of 74 branches, a life insurance business, and wealth and investment management operations.
AnaCap holds stakes in challenger bank Aldermore, as well as banks in Belgium, Malta, the Czech Republic and Poland.
It also bought French digital insurance broker AssurOne in 2014.
Barclays group chief executive Jes Staley says: “Barclays’ French retail and wealth and investment management business is attractive, but no longer fits with our strategic ambitions. With its committed staff and strong customer and client relationships, it is well-placed to thrive under new ownership.
“This transaction, once completed, would effectively finish our exit from Continental European branch-based retail banking.”
The talks were announced alongside Barclays Q1 results, which show the bank has posted a 25 per cent fall in pre-tax profits from £1.1bn to £793m.