… As MD prepares to clear her desk
Barclays Bank Botswana appointed two new directors to its board during the bank Annual General Meeting (AGM) which took place on Thursday this week.
The new directors which are both non-executive are Mohamed Osman who is also the Finance Director of another listed company, Sefalana Holdings Limited. Osman was appointed alongside former PEEPA chief executive officer, Kgotla Ramaphane.
Barclays’ board chairman, Oduetse Motshidisi, has also announced that the bank’s Managing Director Reinette van der Merwe will be leaving the bank later this year having led the bank for the past five years.
Motshidisi praised Van der Merwe for her leadership and contribution to the bank for the past five years which saw Barclays’ profits surging.
The process of identifying a new Managing Director, Motshidisi said, is already underway and an announcement will be made soon. He said the bank has a clear transition plan in place and a strong management team supported by the board and employees capable of delivering the exciting African Bank that Botswana and the entire continent will be proud of.
The outgoing MD said despite the challenging economic environment, the bank has been able to successfully execute its strategy over the last couple of years and remain on an upward trajectory.
She said despite all the challenges, the bank’s Strategic Focus has resulted in the business reporting a remarkable profit before tax of P558 million for the period ending 31st December 2017 representing a year-on-year growth in performance of 13 percent in comparison to the profit in the previous year.
Despite the cut in the bank rate by Bank of Botswana, Van der Merwe said Net Interest Income (NII) increased by 9 percent YoY, which was driven by increased customer transaction volumes in Retail and Business Banking with loans and advances to customers increasing by 14 percent YoY to P10.7 billion.
“Our revised impairments collection process led to a 45 percent decrease on credit impairments,” she noted.
Barclays, which will soon be known as Absa and refocusing on Pan African business, will be looking for growth as a key component of its strategy, Van der Merwe said.
The bank will focus on being market leaders and growing Corporate and Business in chosen sectors, being employer of choice in the financial market through harnessing the talent and energy of the people, focusing on diversity and employment equity to drive growth.
Barclays will also build a digitally led business, giving clients optimal self-service across electronic platforms as well as delivering on commitment of shared growth with an approach that speaks to mutual benefit and a positive change in communities.
“Innovation and digital will continue to be an area of strategic emphasis. We are building a scalable, digitally-led business,” said the outgoing MD, adding that the bank is passionate about the digital possibilities of the 21st century.
Van der Merwe said Barclays has created a bold and ambitious strategy for its business and has a very rare opportunity to shape a bold and lasting future, to be part of building a financial services group Africa can be proud of.