Lloyds Banking Group has decided to sell its residential mortgage portfolio in Ireland to Barclays for nearly $5.4bn in cash.

The divestment was part of the bank’s plan to streamline its business activities in the core UK market.

It also marks Lloyds exit from the Irish market. It closed its retail banking operations in Ireland in 2010.

The mortgage business which was sold in this deal include £300m of impaired assets, which generated a pre-tax loss of around £40m to the company last year.

Following the deal, Lloyds would carry £4bn of additional mortgage assets in Ireland, which would expire normally.

Barclays can bundle the mortgage loans and divest them to other investors, Bloomberg reported quoting an unnamed source

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Now, Lloyds intends to focus on the British market, where it faces stiff competition from the new entrants.

Last month, Lloyds Banking Group reported pre-tax profits of £1.6bn ($2.2bn) in the first quarter of 2018, 23% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

While it net income rose by 4% on a year-on-year basis to £4.3bn, customer deposits dropped by 1% to £413bn.