Barclays Set to Exit Africa

Barclays, Bank is exiting the African market

Human Rights Network for Journalists- Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) has accused condemned police for threatening to arrest foreign media correspondents, viagra 60mg who allegedly assaulted the DPC Kasangati Police, purchase James Kawalya during the arrest of FDC presidential candidate, KizzaBesigye at his home.

HRNJ thus reported today that some correspondents have since fled the country for fear of being arrested.

On 20th February, an unidentified police officer pepper-sprayed Isaac Kasamani, a photo journalist for AFP while he was covering the arrest of Dr. KizzaBesigye at Kasangati, Wakiso District.

“The DPC for Kasangati police, James Kawalya declined to reveal the identity of the officer and instead blamed journalists for disobeying security orders,” HRNJ National Coordinator Robert Ssempala narrated to journalists at Hotel Triangle in Kampala.

“Police threatened to apprehend reporters who demanded that Kawalya reveals the identity of the officer; these have since left the country,” Ssempala revealed.

He noted that although the presidential, parliamentary and district elections were generally peaceful, there were several violations and unnecessary interference in the work of journalists and media houses.

Ssempala observed that a total 70 cases have so been compiled for a period of three months which include; physical assault, destruction of journalist’s tools, intimidation and closure of media houses and alleged shooting at reporters.

He also lashed out at the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen. Kale Kayihura, political candidates and their supporters in the different parts of the country together with H.E President Yoweri Museveni who have confronted reporters naming them ‘Rumor Mongers.’
Customers with accounts in Barclays across its 24 branches in Kampala, health and the entire country and the continent might have by next week to explore other options as the British financial institution is expected to close business on the continent.

The Financial Times reported Barclays’ new chief executive would Tuesday announce that the bank has decided to exit its African operations in a bold move to refocus the bank on its core UK and US markets.

After a review of the African business led by Jes Staley, the bank’s board decided last week that in principle it made strategic sense to get out of the continent, according to people familiar with the matter.

The board has delegated authority to a subcommittee to examine the practicalities of how and when to sell Barclays Africa, one of its four main lines of business. By delegating authority it avoided having to disclose the decision immediately.

Mr Staley says he recognises Africa is one of Barclays’ few genuine growth areas, but he believes it is becoming a costly distraction as the South African rand devalues and the country’s economy slows down.

The bank also sees extra risks of corruption and misconduct in Africa. “Barclays does not own all of the equity, but it owns 100 per cent of the risk if something goes wrong,” said one of the people.

The decision to pull out of Africa will reinforce Mr Staley’s strategy of refocusing Barclays on its core British and American markets.

Last month, he announced plans to further trim the investment bank cutting up to 1,200 staff by closing smaller operations in Asia, Brazil, Europe and Russia.

Barclays has had operations in parts of Africa for almost a century. Barclays Africa Group Limited, which includes the South African branch network Absa, is one of the largest banks on the continent, with a R991bn balance sheet. It has 45,000 employees — a third of all Barclays staff — and 1,267 branches across 12 countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda.

But the recent contribution of the African business to the overall group’s profits has been hit by the devaluation of the South African rand against the British pound.

The African unit’s return on equity was 9.3 per cent last year — below the bank’s target of 11 per cent.


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