Barclays UK exit presents more opportunities for Ghana – Barclays Africa CEO

By Lorlornyofm May 29, 2017 06:39

Barclays UK exit presents more opportunities for Ghana – Barclays Africa CEO

Barclays Africa says the decision by Barclays UK to exit from the region will not affect its operations in Ghana and others on the continent.

The assurance follows fears that the sell down of Barclays PLC shares in Barclays Africa, which owns Barclays Ghana and others in nine countries could affect its operations in the region. This is because of the deep connection customers in these African countries had with Barclays PLC.

But responding to a question from JOYBUSINESS’ George Wiafe at an engagement in Johannesburg, Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos said the sell down “marks the next phase of Barclay’s evolution as a standalone Pan African Financial services group, committed to Africa.”

She added that this it will not affect the shareholding of Banks in Africa and the move by PLC would now allow them to live up the expectation as a true Pan African Institution.

Ramos noted that the move by Barclays UK would allow them to increase its Africa ownership in business through a staff share scheme and also give Barclays greater freedom in the strategic decision.

“It will remove some cost relating to regulatory requirements and opportunity to modernise and harmonise systems across its markets in the region,” she said.

Barclays in March 2016 announced its intention to sell the majority of its shareholding in Barclays Africa. Before this move, Barclays PLC held 63 percent stake in Barclays Africa.

It managed to sell off some 12.2 percent in the Africa operations to a range of investors in May 2016, reducing its shareholding to 50.1 percent.

Barclays Brand in Africa post exit

Ramos added that they are still engaging customers and all interested parties on what should the new brand for Barclays Africa should be used in these 10 country’s that they operating.

Barclays Africa under the current arraignment is expected to change the Brand Barclays, especially in the countries that it operates Africa, in three years’ time.

But the Barclays Africa CEO said are carrying out the necessary engagements to ensure that the final decision would help grow the business in Africa.

Barclays exit and regulatory issues

According to Barclays Africa, PLC has submitted an application to Reserve Bank of South Africa to reduce its shareholding to a level below 50 percent which could result in the London-based bank having about 20 stakes in Barclays Africa.

Speaking at a separate engagement, Group Head of Communications at Barclays Africa, Songezo Zibi said all the Central Banks in countries in which Barclays Africa operates, including the Bank of Ghana, would have the final say on which investor and financial institution that would take up the remaining shares of Barclays PLC in Barclays Africa.

These Central Banks in 11 countries, make up the college of regulators which is led by the South African Reserve Bank.

“They are all going to ensure that,  who every takes over Barclays, appreciates its culture” Songezo Zibi said.

This would also ensure that customers of Barclays Ghana would not experience any drastic changes that that would affect them when the sell down is completed.

The two parties, Barclays Africa Group and Barclays PLC have worked closely with these regulators, to ensure that the divestment and separation of the two business proceed in an ordered manner, with no unnecessary impact on the business operations and its shareholders.

Barclays PLC has also agreed to contribute £765 million, primarily to fund the investments required for Barclays Africa Group to complete the separation from Barclays PLC.

Part of the contribution will be invested in replacing services and systems currently provided by the PLC to Barclays Africa operations.

The process presents an opportunity to modernise and harmonise systems across in Africa, according to Barclays Africa.

Source: Ghana | | Joy Business

By Lorlornyofm May 29, 2017 06:39
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