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JOHANNESBURG - Barclays Africa Group yesterday continued to consolidate its separation from its British parent company, Barclays Plc, unveiling a massive restructuring drive that will see it operating four-core businesses headed by new executives.

South Africa’s third biggest bank with a market capitalisation of R157.68 billion, said that the restructuring was part of its bid to double its market share in continental banking revenues from 6 percent to 12 percent.

Barclays shares declined 0.43 percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R186.

The group said o Monday that it would be split into four businesses of retail and business banking (RBB), corporate and investment banking, the rest of Africa and wealth, investment management and insurance (Wimi) with immediate effect to meet its customers’ and clients’ needs.

It said each division would have a chief executive that will report to group chief executive Maria Ramos.

“South Africa banking will cease to be a management or reporting segment,” the group said.

Barclays Africa said the new growth strategy announced in March required a change in its operating model to deliver its three stated priorities of restoring market leadership in core businesses, creating a thriving organisation and building new propositions.

Ramos said the group had set a bold ambition to double its share of Africa banking revenues, digitising its organisation end-to-end and presenting bold propositions to meet the needs of their customers and clients.

“This executive committee will work with leaders and colleagues throughout our business who were also instrumental in shaping our strategy and the group’s new ambition,” she said.

In March, Barclays Africa announced that it planned to reclaim its African identity by changing its name back to Absa across the continent in the next two years.

The group said at the time that the rebranding was part of the separation from London’s Barclays Plc, which in 2016 announced that it would sell its majority shareholding in Barclays Africa within the next three years.

Barclays Africa operates in 10 countries, with approximately 40000 employees.

In the new structure, Arrie Rautenbach will assume the role of chief executive of RBB South.

Sabbatical

He is currently the group’s chief risk officer and has extensive retail banking experience.

The group also announced that David Hodnett, the current deputy chief executive, would be taking a two-month sabbatical.

It said the corporate and investment banking would remain under the joint leadership of Temi Ofong and Mike Harvey. Peter Matlare would continue his position as deputy chief executive for Rest of Africa Banking, while Nomkhita Nqweni would also remain as Wimi chief executive.

Ron Klipin, a senior analyst at Cratos Wealth, said the untying of the knot with Barclays Group plc has probably enabled the local operation to set up structures more appropriate to South African operating conditions.

Klipin said this would enable each unit to concentrate its skills on being its own profit centre.

“In addition the acquisition of the rest of the African assets makes for a more complex business operation, and hence the need to create a more focused and separate operating entities,” Klipin said. “It will also enable the centre, head office, to accelerate a strategy to meet the challenges of growing competition from digital banking.”

-BUSINESS REPORT