Antony Jenkins, recently-appointed head of Barclaysâ retail banking unit, is thought to be outlining a strategy to be passed before the organisationâs board detailing the plans.
Although no one from Barclays has confirmed a takeover of a consumer operation is going ahead, some investors have criticised the potential move.
Jane Coffey, fund manager at Royal London Asset Management, told Bloomberg, if reports are true, âit does not make a lot of senseâ.
âVery few European banks have made a success of buying US retail banks and almost all have lost their shirts doing it.â
Ms Coffey cited the example of HSBC, who suffered millions of dollars of subprime losses after acquiring Household in 2003.
She added that financial service industry regulators in the US would also be concerned by such an acquisition, as it may expose a retail bank to investment bank risk.
âInvestment banks should be financed through wholesale markets, not deposits,â the asset manager concluded.
SunTrust Banks in Atlanta and the Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial are rumoured to be among the organisations on Barclayâs wish-list of acquisitions.
By Jim Ottewill