Barclays To Buy Chase Manhattan Travelers Check Operation
NEW YORK (AP) _ Barclays Bank PLC of London said Wednesday it had agreed to acquire the Visa Travelers Cheque operations of Chase Manhattan Corp.
The companies did not disclose the financial details of the deal, which was expected to be completed April 1.
In a statement Barclays said the acquisition would raise its share of the worldwide Visa Travelers Cheque market to about 75 percent, and would bring Barclays an additional 25,000 travelers check outlets worldwide.
″Once this transaction is closed, we plan to launch aggressive regional marketing programs throughout the world, building upon 1985,″ said Kenneth Bignall, deputy divisional general manager of Barclays Bank.
Visa is considered the world’s second largest issuer of travelers checks after American Express. Although check issuing companies do not generally disclose facts about their market share, industry analysts have estimated that American Express last year had about 39 percent of the market, while Visa had about 15.5 percent.
Visa Travelers Cheques are issued by more than 30 banks and other financial institutions, and are sold to the public through a network of about 60,000 agents worldwide, according to its parent Visa International.
Edward James, president of Chase Travelers Cheque Service Corp., said his company decided to sell the check operation because its long-term growth plans called for investments in other financial services.
Chase is the third-largest bank holding company in the United States, with assets of $87.7 billion, and says it holds about 42 percent of the U.S. market in Visa Travelers Cheques.
The Barclays Group, a major international financial services corporation, lists assets of $93.6 billion and 4,000 offices worldwide.