Barclays Bank Botswana Managing Director Reinette van der Merwe has confirmed that Rizwan Desai has been re-elected to the position of Chairman of Barclays Bank Botswana. Although Desai was supposed to retire by rotation in accordance with Section 20:10 of the Constitution of Barclays Bank, shareholders expressed confidence in Desai’s leadership resulting in him being re-elected at the company’s recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) which was held on Friday at Masa Centre.
At the AGM, the bank’s shareholders adopted the Annual Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2015 together with the Directors and Independent Auditor’s reports.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, Barclays Bank Botswana Managing Director Reinette van der Merwe stated that she was impressed with the quality of questions which arose from shareholders during the AGM. She added that the questions reflected an understanding of the market as well as business dynamics.
“The question on the issue of Barclays Plc selling shares was one of the good points raised; and it was good that we reassured the shareholders that there will be no impact on Botswana as the change is between PLC and Barclays Africa Group,” said Van Der Merwe.
She stated that Botswana is protected by virtue of being part of Barclays Africa group, adding that they are comfortable being a Pan African group as Africa is their destiny.
“As Botswana we are one of the top five African countries in the Barclays Africa group and from that perspective we are also key to Africa’s strategy as a Pan African player,” she said.
Van Der Merwe is optimistic that the current board of directors is stable, adding that all the members that were in the board last year are still members of the board post AGM. “The board is supported by Barclays Africa and reports to the chairman of Barclays Africa and they are very supportive. The board also has been instrumental in the turnaround of the financial results earlier this year.”
Meanwhile, early this year Barclays Bank Botswana rebounded to deliver a strong set of results in the second half of 2015 (H2:2015), doubling the first half performance to set alight its full year financial results for the year ended 31 December 2015.
Barclays achieved a positive Profit before Tax (PBT) of P332 million for the year, after doubling its PBT to P222million in the second half from P110 million recorded in the first half. The bank’s resounding performance comes in the wake of subdued performance in the banking sector over the last two years, as a result of regulatory changes and a general economic downturn largely driven by falling commodity prices.
Despite these challenges Barclays still managed to significantly improve the business in H2:2015, and the bank remains bullish that the trend will continue into 2016.