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Barclays Bank Kenya denies shut down plans

29 February 2016, 19:04

Nairobi (Xinhua) - Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) on Monday denied plans to exit the country despite an announcement by its parent company Barclays Plc which it said would not impact the shareholding and ownership of operations in individual African countries.

BBK Managing Director Jeremy Awori said the bank has a strong financial base and dismissed speculative reports in local and international media about Barclays considering exiting Africa.

"The Barclays Bank of Kenya is not shutting down. I reiterate. 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," Awori said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"The ongoing speculation is related to the shareholding of Barclays Africa Group Ltd, the holding company of Barclays Bank of Kenya, and does not in any way impact the day to day running of this institution," he added.

Barclays Plc said on Sunday its board was evaluating strategic options in relation to its shareholding in its African business. The bank will update the market on its plans for Barclays Africa on Tuesday, it said.

Barclays Africa said it was well capitalised, that it had an independent board and that it would continue to operate as normal.

"BBK has a strong capital base and liquidity position that ensures we are able to deliver value to all our stakeholders. Our institution is founded on and governed by clear structures and sound business practises that have ensured our successful existence in this country for the last century," Awori said.

He assured customers and shareholders that Barclays Kenya as well Barclays Africa Group Limited remain committed to the African market.

"I assure you that your money is safe with us and you should not be concerned about the operation of your account," he said, noting that the remarks had stirred concerns among the bank's stakeholders.

That came after a report by the Financial Times on Friday noting that the bank's chief executive, Jess Staley, had decided to shut operations in Africa and had appointed a subcommittee to study the sale process.

Any change in the shareholding of Barclays Africa will not impact the shareholding structure of those individual operations, it said.

Barclays Africa Group CEO Maria Ramos said 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.

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.

- Xinhua


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