Sunday, October 25, 2020

Barclays Botswana jobs safe as Antony Jenkins wields axe globally

Barclays said on Friday it does not anticipate any job losses in its
African operations following British multinational financial house’s
announcement that thousands of employees around the world will leave
as it moves to scale down on its investment arm and refocus business.

In a response to Sunday Standard enquiries, the bank with operations
in Botswana said in a statement that its Group Strategy Review
underscores Barclays Africa as a longer term growth business with
distinct competitive advantages, in which it will continue to invest.

“We envisage no employee reductions in Africa as a result of the
changes announced on 8 May 2014,” said the bank.

“It is also important to note that there will be no changes for
Barclays Africa – including Barclays Bank Egypt – to the way in which
we are structured or continue to operate”.

This move will be good news for Botswana employees–where the bank
operates and makes large sums of money. Barclays Africa Group Limited
is 62.3 percent owned by Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays) and is listed on
the JSE Limited.

Barclays Plc said last week it was cutting 19, 000 jobs around the
world in a move aimed at scaling down on investment banking to put
more efforts in retail banking. Chief Executive Antony Jenkins, who is
spearheading the exercise, is of the view that the decision will also
reduce operating expenses as bankers at the investment division were
paid large bonuses during the era of departed Bob Diamond, who left
the bank at the heart of interest rate rigging scandal.

The bank claimed its Our strategy for Africa will not change as a
result of this announcement and over the next 3 years it will focus on
the turnaround of the RBB franchise in South Africa and across the
rest of Africa, investing in Corporate banking across the continent,
capturing the growth opportunity in Wealth, Investment Management and
Insurance and continue to develop and invest in talent across our
business.

“We are making the necessary investments to support these focus areas,
totalling over $300 million in 2014,” the bank added. The bank has set
out key financial targets to the market which it is determined to
achieve including being a top 3 by revenue in its 5 largest markets,
ROE of 18-20 percent, a cost-income ratio in the low 50s and a revenue
share of 20-25 percent from outside of South Africa.

“We are making good progress on these priorities and will provide an
update to the market when we announce our H1 results”.

The Barclays Africa Group was formed through combining Absa Group
Limited and Barclays’ African operations on 31 July 2013. Reflecting
the enlarged group’s pan-African focus, the name changed from Absa
Group Limited to Barclays Africa Group Limited on 2 August 2013.
Under the deal, Absa Group Limited acquired Barclays Africa Limited,
the proposed holding company of the portfolio, for a consideration of
129,540, 636 Absa ordinary shares, representing a value of P16.6
billion.

At the time of the announcement of the transaction, Barclays Africa
Limited was to hold at the effective date of the proposed combination,
all or a significant majority of the portfolio, comprising Barclays
ownership interests in banking operations in Botswana (67.8 percent),
Ghana (100 percent), Kenya (68.5 percent), Mauritius (100 percent),
Seychelles (99.8 percent), Tanzania (100 percent), Uganda (100
percent) and Zambia (100 percent), as well as the Barclays Africa
regional office in Johannesburg (100 percent). The group’s registered
head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Barclays on the other hand operates in over 50 countries and employs
approximately 140,000 people ÔÇô where it lends, invests and protects
money for customers and clients worldwide.

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