Friday, September 25, 2020

Barclays Bank Managing Director faces the axe

Thuli Johnson’s job as Managing Director of Barclays Bank Botswana is on the line.

There is a lot of behind the scenes lobbying and jostling by shareholders to have him replaced.

To show and drive home their displeasure, the shareholders in London have denied Johnson the year end bonus, the first time in five years since he joined the Group as the second citizen Managing Director.

With inside information suggesting that the parties are carefully sizing up each other before their next move, it is not yet clear if the bank chief will be sacked or transferred.

Sunday Standard has received information that Johnson has already turned down the offer by his superiors in London to have him transferred to the less plum job in Nigeria.

Botswana is said to be the second largest outpost by value inside the Barclays emerging markets portfolio.
Sunday Standard can confirm that Johnson’s problems stem from an estimated loss in revenue the bank expects to posit next week when they release their financial results.

A cautionary statement released this week states that results will be down by between 20 and 25 percent; a direct result of the collapse of Lobtrans which owed Barclays in excess of P70 million.
However one looks at it, indications are that the Barclays Bank of Botswana Managing Director is the latest victim in a series of casualties brought by the collapse of Lobtrans, a Lobatse-based transport group that owed a series of Botswana banks millions in Pula.
With Standard Charted Bank having suspended a manager many heads are still expected to roll as a result of the still unfolding Lobtrans saga.

Sunday Standard investigations this week turned up information that the Barclays head office in London is deeply displeased by the impending loss and some powerful voices within the group are already calling for Mr. Johnson’s head as the fall guy.

A cautionary statement released this week indicates that Barclays results, which are a little behind schedule, will fall below the target mark by between 20 and 25 percent.

The investigations further revealed that when the extent of the Barclays loss first surfaced, the Group tried to transfer Johnson to Nigeria, a move he is said to have vehemently resisted and turned down.

Johnson would not be drawn into discussing the matter, referring all enquiries to Board Chairman, Blackie Marole.

If history is anything to go by, indications are that Barclays Bank Group is headed for a showdown with Bank of Botswana should they attempt to delocalize the MD’s position as hinted by some of the Group’s executives.
Last year, the Bank of Botswana had a running battle with Standard Chartered Bank Botswana after the outfit failed to localize their position of Managing Director.

Barclays, which is the only commercial bank in Botswana to have localised the position of Managing Director, has been enjoying accolades from both the government and the public, cited as the benchmark for others to follow after it became the first to localize its position of Managing Director.

The first citizen to hold the position of MD at Barclays Bank of Botswana was Duncan Mlazie, now Assistant Minister of Finance.

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