Barclays steps up gear

SHARE   |   Sunday, 15 February 2015   |   By Kabelo Adamson
Barclays Bank Headquaters in the CBD Barclays Bank Headquaters in the CBD

• Opens new CBD headquarters
• Targets to lead its major African markets

Botswana is the key market and a strategic place for Barclays bank in its quest to become the ‘Go-To’ bank and a centre of strategy for growth in Africa, Chief Executive for Barclays Africa Regional Management, Mizinga Melu, said on Thursday.
Speaking during the official opening of the Barclays house at the new CBD, Melu said the strategy of the bank is to become the ‘Go-To’ bank for their customers and clients across the continent so as to bring the best of Africa business together with the best of the global business.
“We will successfully reach these goals because of the extraordinary potential of our franchise and great platform we have in Africa, including markets like Botswana,” Melu said.
The Botswana Stock Exchange-listed commercial bank, which launched the strategy of the ‘Go-To’ bank some few years ago, intends to become the best bank in Africa which was affirmed when the bank launched its first ever Pan-African brand campaign, Prosper, which aims illustrate what Barclays stands for and it helps people achieve their ambitions in the best way.
In the previous year, the bank outlined its business targets which are in line with its strategy and also to become a strategic partner for African development by setting out objectives for the next three years, including to be in the top three banks in five of its four largest markets in Africa, which are South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and Zambia.
Being part of the wider Barclays Group, Melu believes, as Barclays that they have capability to provide international capital markets access for local, regional and African clients.
She said while the bank is rolling out some of its strategies that will align it as the top bank in the continent, it is also committed to public sector initiatives such as the recent partnership between Barclays Botswana and Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) which saw the two hosting an investment conference.
“The National Conference created a platform for networking, information sharing and benchmarking best practices on service delivery, investment opportunities and entrepreneurial development,” Melu said.
The bank is, according to the Chief Executive, aware of the government’s efforts to diversify the economy through agriculture and other sectors.
“To this end, we have since established an agri-business within our business banking unit,” she said, adding that they have recently financed a group breaking feedlot venture outside Gaborone at P25 million.
In addition the bank has also partnered with Sandveldt Ranchers Association which is aimed at promoting beef export and help farmers comply with EU standards.
“Barclays sees Africa as a growth opportunity. We will, for this reason, as we have done in Botswana through this building, create world class services to meet the evolving needs of our diverse customers across the continent,” she said.
Bank of Botswana (BoB) Governor Linah Mohohlo said since its establishment in 1950, Barclays Bank Botswana has made a noticeable impact of the local economy. Being one of the only two listed commercial banks, Mohohlo says this is encouraging as the arrangement has more positives.
“In addition to contributing to the development of the domestic capital market, the listing has allowed Batswana to own sizeable portion of the bank that is part of a major banking group,” the governor said. Mohohlo applauded the bank for its good track record of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) through various initiatives.

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