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We ain’t exiting Kenya, says Barclays Bank CEO

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Barclays Bank of Kenya today clarified that it’s not closing down nor exiting the Kenyan market, following reports that its majority shareholder – Barclays PLC –   plans to get out of its Africa operations.

“Barclays Bank of Kenya is not shutting down and there are no plans at local, regional or group level to shut down our operations here,” Barclays Kenya Chief Executive Jeremy Awori told Capital FM.

He said any decisions concerning the operations of Barclays Kenya can only be made by Barclays Africa Group Limited in consultation with other shareholders. According to the Financial Times, Barclays PLC has decided to exit its African operations to refocus the bank on its core United Kingdom and United States markets.

The bank has appointed a subcommittee to study how and when to sell its 62.3 percent stake in Barclays Africa, which is valued at Sh492 billion and attributed the reason for the exit as; Africa becoming a costly distraction owing to the devaluation of the South African Rand, and extra risks of corruption and misconduct in Africa which would tarnish the entire African operation if something was to go wrong.

Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos says the bank will continue to offer a full and integrated range of products and services to more than 12 million customers in 12 countries across Africa urging customers to be confident in doing business with them.

“With an independent board and a separate listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange we are deeply rooted in Africa and remain firmly in control of our future,” Ramos says.

Barclays Africa Group registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa and has majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Barclays Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia.

The Bank also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria. Barclays Bank PLC has operations in Egypt and Zimbabwe which are an integral part of Barclays Africa business and continue to be run by Barclays Africa operationally.

“We continue to be optimistic about our prospects in Africa, where we have a strong franchise with assets of over R1 trillion. We are deeply committed to the success of our continent. Our destiny is in Africa,” Ramos added.

Barclays PLC is will update the market on the shareholding in Barclays Africa Group Limited at the time of its 2015 full-year results announcement on March 1, 2016.


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