Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water...........
Barclays has spoken to its rival bank Standard Chartered about a potential merger but no formal or informal bid was made, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing two unnamed sources.
One director each from the two London-headquartered banks met to discuss the possible benefits of merging, the FT said. The conversation that took place was part of a wider effort by Barclays to improve its financial performance, according to the report.
Both Barclays and Standard Chartered declined to comment, said the FT.
Barclays did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC, while Standard Chartered said it's "entirely focused on executing our strategy, and do not comment on this type of speculation."
Barclays has come under pressure from activist investor Sherborne , which is pushing the British lender to shrink its under-performing investment banking unit, Reuters reported last week.
Sherborne holds a more than 5 percent stake in Barclays and is one of the bank's largest shareholders.