Barclays, the UK’s second-largest
bank by assets, has announced the formation of a joint venture with
French insurer CNP Assurances which will see the bank distribute
CNP’s life insurance and pension products through its retail
networks in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

The 25-year agreement, which is subject to
regulatory approval, also involves Barclays selling a 50 percent
stake in its Iberian life insurance and pensions subsidiary,
Barclays Vida y Pensiones Compañía de Seguros (BVP), to CNP. CNP
will pay an initial up-front consideration of €140 million ($195
million) in cash, with an additional amount of up to €450 million
to be paid over a 12-year period.

Barclays, which noted that its distribution
points in Spain, Portugal and Italy had increased from around 600
in January 2007 to over 1,000 as of June 2009, said it would invest
the proceeds of the sale into further developing its businesses in
those regions. BVP products are currently distributed through 794
branches across the three countries.