Bloomberg.com – IBM Corp. is buying British bank Barclays Plc and its U.K. counterpart, British Bank Group Plc.

The combined group plans to build up to $3.5 billion in new business as the banks work to boost the economy, the two companies said Wednesday in a statement.

The combined group will also increase its presence in the U.N. to strengthen its efforts to fight climate change, the companies said.

The two companies have already agreed to buy Barclays and the U-K.

bank in exchange for a stake in a new U.G. bank, the firms said.

Icici, the world’s largest investment bank, was one of the first financial firms to take a stake last year in Barclays.

ICCI, the largest of the U