Barclays pullout not Africa's problem

Barclays will end its 90-year-long presence in Africa as soon as the UK bank can sell off the majority stake it owns in a regional subsidiary, fully exiting the continent where it employs 45,000 people and holds $70 billion in assets.

A formal announcement on Tuesday from the bank confirmed months of speculation of the rumored exit. Barclays CEO Jes Staley, who moved to the top role in October, said that in the next three years the company will dump the 62.3% of the shares it controls in Barclays Africa Group, its regional subsidiary.

“[Barclays Africa Group] is a well-diversified business and a high quality franchise,” the company said in its results announcement. “However, the stake in [Barclays Africa Group] presents specific challenges to Barclays as owners.”

Staley said the move was meant to achieve increased returns for shareholders, while streamlining operations. Meanwhile, the corporation plans to shift its focus to transatlantic operations centered in the UK and the US.

Read more: Barclays pullout not Africa’s problem – The Zimbabwe Independent