Barclays exits the African market

Following the finalisation of a six-year-old process, British multinational bank and lender Barclays announced its exit from the African market after selling its final 7.4% interest in South African bank Absa.

Barclays earned £526 million earlier this year when it sold a shareholding of a comparable amount. Africa is the source of this sale’s strongest and most noticeable draw. Barclays’ decision to leave also signifies the culmination of its ambitions to reduce substantially its presence in Africa.

A strategy that was started in 2016 when Jes Staley, Barclays’ CEO at the time, announced that the company would shift its emphasis to concentrate more of its efforts in the US and Britain.

These initiatives led to the bank selling its 62 percent stake in Barclays Africa, an Absa and Barclays joint venture that had employed about 45,000 people before its exit. or almost one-third of all Barclays personnel. Absa, which serves millions of consumers, is in charge of 10 countries in Africa, including Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, and Tanzania.

Plans to wind down smaller businesses in Asia, Brazil, some of Europe, and Russia are also part of the shift in emphasis toward the UK and the US.

Prior to its departure from South Africa in 1986, at the height of apartheid, Barclays was the largest lender in that nation. In 1995, when things were calmer, the bank went back and resumed business in the nation with its corporate and investment banking section.

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