Barclays Bank has committed to investing $3.5 billion in the Australian economy and expanding its services there in 2018, its first investment in the country since it joined the Global Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) in 2015.
The investment will bring the bank’s total investment to $4.4 billion in 2020, according to Barclays Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, James Kelly.
Barclays has previously said that it is committed to helping Australia’s “sustainable and resilient economy”.
It is the first investment by the bank in Australia, and the largest of its kind in the world.
It will help support a range of infrastructure projects, such as the Perth Airport and the $50 billion WestConnex road, which is set to open in 2021.
The company will also partner with Australian banks and financial institutions to further enhance the quality of its services and its ability to service Australian customers.
“Our work to create a resilient economy in Australia is supported by the work of many people across the country,” Kelly said.
“Barclay is a key partner in helping the Australian Government and the broader Australian economy achieve its growth and prosperity.”
We look forward to contributing to this great transformation.
“Barclashes growthThe Barclays report comes at a time when the bank has been under pressure to cut its growth.
In its most recent financial results, the bank reported its net debt stood at $9.7 billion in 2019-20.
That was down from $21.4bn in 2018-19, and down from the previous year’s $37.5bn.
Barcelona said its net worth had grown by $2.5 trillion since its first financial results were published in January.
The bank also said it expected its business to grow by 8.4% to 9.4%.
That said, Barclays has faced mounting criticism for its business practices in Australia and abroad.
The Wall Street Journal last month reported that Barclays was investigating claims of illegal fees at the end of 2018, which it said it was “committed to addressing”.
In a separate report, The Australian Financial Review reported that the bank was considering the introduction of “dividend-free” or “fee-free”, dividend-based schemes for some of its customers, which would see the bank pay a percentage of the fees that it receives for services.
Baraclays shares have risen by more than 70% since the Wall Street report was published.