Barclays Bank has agreed to sell its custody business in Africa to Standard Chartered. Barclays African custody business had gross assets of GBP1.9m and assets under custody of GBP3,862m as on December 31, 2009.

Barclays African custody business is a pan-African securities and custody business which employs 66 people and covers 16 markets from its operations in eight countries that include Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Vinit Chandra, chief executive of Barclays Africa, said: “Our custody business in Africa is attractive and profitable and the sale will realise significant value for Barclays Africa. We will work closely with Standard Chartered to ensure the transition does not impact our clients and employees and remain fully committed to growing our banking operations in Africa.”

Barclays exited the global custody business outside Africa in 1998. The remaining custody business in Africa is profitable but would benefit from the synergies a global operation could provide.

The sale is expected to be completed in 2010, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.