Barclays Bank to launch global unit trust service

Barclays Bank is expected to launch a separately branded global in vestment division, offering unit trusts and stockbroking services.

The bank’s UK unit trust arm and the country’s biggest Pep provider, Barclays Unicorn, is likely to co-ordinate the UK launch.

The new division would replace Unicorn and Barclays Stockbrokers.

A top global investment executive from the US is understood to be briefing worldwide advertising agencies about the new venture.

“This sounds like Barclays is planning to do to international retail banking what Midland did with phone banking when it launched First Direct,” says a source.

In the UK, Barclays investment interests include Barclays Unicorn, which handles unit trusts and PEPs; Barclays Stockbrokers, which deals on the stock exchange on behalf of consumers; and BZW Investment Management, which handles fund management.

The venture will face the complex task of coping with international finance laws if it is to begin operations.

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