Barclays Bank Zimbabwe (BBZ) has emphasised that it remains committed to the Zimbabwean market and will continue to broaden its product range and increase client flow in spite of parent company Barclays Plc’s announcement yesterday that it had moved the operations to the list of non-core assets that it holds with an intention to sell.Yesterday Barclays Plc outlined a plan to gradually sell down its 62 percent stake in its Africa unit, Barclays Africa Group Limited and de-consolidate the business from its accounts within two or three years.
The bank said it would also accelerate
the sell-off of unwanted assets. It also added its Egyptian, Zimbabwean and Asian wealth
businesses to the pile of “non-core” assets it holds.
Managing director George Guvamatanga yesterday told analysts that even though there is now an intention to sell, BBZ remains a part of the Plc family and remains committed to serving its customers.
“What the board has announced is an intention to sell but Barclays Zimbabwe remains part of the Barclays Plc family. We remain committed to the Zimbabwean market and in fact we are in the process of increasing our presence in the market.
“On Friday we are going to be officially opening our Kadoma branch which we bought back last year.
“We have refurbished it and we will continue to focus on providing seamless banking services and products to our customers. As and when other developments arise we will engage you. At this stage we remain very focused.”
To show that the bank is still in Zimbabwe, Mr Guvamatanga said Barclays Zimbabwe
has set priorities for 2016 which include
efficient deployment of capital, increasing client flow and continuing to grow the loan
“As we endeavour to provide relevant products and services for our customers, we recently launched Cashsend on mobile banking platforms, Cashback on Point of Sale, Box Office and DSTV payments on Internet Banking and Hello Money while adding Hospital Cash Back and Education Protection Plan Insurance products to our existing portfolio of protection products in partnership with Zimnat,” said BBZ in a statement yesterday.
The bank said it is also in the process of rolling out paperless transactions in all branches.
In the year to December, the group reported a drop in profitability to $3,9 million from $6,6 million after having accounted for once-off items last year which had boosted non-funded income.
In the period non-funded income was down 8 percent to $29,3 million and net interest income was $18 percent higher at $16,6 million leading to a flat total income of $46 million.