Barclays Bank Botswana says its priorities for 2016 are to continue its retail and business banking turn around, expand corporate and investment banking and grow bancassurance.
Barclays Bank Botswana Managing Director Reinette van der Merwe revealed last week that the bank is expected deliver on the talent agenda, with a focus on localizing some senior positions while maintaining diversity.
“Beyond our strategy, we recognize that we have to keep up with client and customer behavior, technology advancement, regulations and market changes such that we remain competitive and relevant to our customers,” she said.
She maintained that Barclays charges remain competitive in the local market and compare favorably to other financial institutions in Southern Africa. van der Merwe also said she remains optimistic that Botswana still offers future growth opportunities for Barclays, adding that the bank is well-positioned to seize such opportunities. In that regard, the bank is investing heavily in technological infrastructure and continues to make significant enhancements in its digital platforms.
“In our corporate banking segment we continue to develop financial solutions that will enable complex customer deals. However, we expect economic growth to remain subdued due to weak commodity prices,” she sated.
Botswana’s economic environment continues to be highly volatile, characterized by low interest rates and the fee moratorium though uplifted, still impacting banks. The situation is not helped by worsening drought in Southern Africa, which will further raise food prices. Erratic electricity and water supplies will also continue to weigh on key sectors. The MD further said the bank will continue to leverage and collaborate on corporate and investment banking product coverage with its Africa Leverage Finance Teams at Barclays Africa Regional Office, in order to connect clients seamlessly to global markets.
“That is the advantage of being part of the wider Barclays Africa Group. They have the capability to provide international capital markets access for their local clients; and in essence create value for their clients’ businesses helping them prosper,” said van der Merwe.
The Central Bank has approved inclusion of the P250m funding for Barclays, which has contributed positively to its capital position. Van de Merwe re-affirmed that Barclays remains well capitalized to support future balance sheet growth adding that it will continuously review its capital position in line with capital demand and regulatory changes.