Maria Ramos, CEO of Barclays Africa, gives us the lowdown on why Barclays is pulling out of the African business. Recent South African political instability have been thrown around as the trigger, but she says that is not the reason.
It has absolutely nothing to do with any conspiracy and has nothing to do with economic environment whether its in South Africa or anywhere else across the continent. As the Barclays Plc Chief Executive Jes Staley stated in his remarks this morning, the decision has been driven by the regulatory environmental and the regulatory burdens that are very specific in particular to Barclays Plc as a UK headquartered globally significant financial institution.— Maria Ramos, CEO Barclays Africa
Banks internationally need to get their own houses in order and cannot afford to be dabbling in places like Africa it would seem.
Over the last few years we have seen very significant changes to the global regulatory environment and these changes have made it more difficult and in fact much more expensive for a globally significant bank like Barclays to own subsidiaries like ours— Maria Ramos, CEO Barclays Africa
Which is going to make it difficult for any international bank facing the same regulatory environment to buy Absa.
The Bank Resolution and Recovery Directive is integral to how these banks can behave.
I think it is one of the unintended consequences of the changes in the regulatory environment and I am sure global regulators are probably going to have to take a look at this at some point.— Maria Ramos, CEO Barclays Africa
Ramos acknowledges it will be a challenging time and questions have and will be asked by both staff and customers. But she is confident Barclays Africa will pull through with flying colours.
Our strategy since the acquisition of the Barclays business across Africa has been to build a bank franchise across Africa which we own as Barclays Africa, and its listed separately on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. We've got a balance sheet of 1.1 trillion rand and we have over 12 million customers and we have tabled a strong set of results for 2014. We've always believed that Africa is our destiny and that does not change for us. We are very excited about our prospects across the continent.— Maria Ramos, CEO Barclays Africa
Listen to Maria Ramos describe their strategy for taking Barclays Africa into this new era.