Barclays loss doubles, to sell African bank unit stake

Under Staley’s plan, Barclays’ business will be divided into two divisions, Barclays UK, which will include the ring-fenced high street operation, and Barclays Corporate & International, housing the group’s investment banking division.

Share slide. The stock has fallen 21% this year, extending a two-year slump that’s left the bank trading 50% less than its book value.

Barclays is expected to book hefty provisions for mis-selling charges when it announces its full-year results.

Barclays bought a 55 per cent stake in South African bank Absa in 2005 for $5.5 billion, later increasing it to a 62.3 per cent stake and rebranding Absa as Barclays Africa in 2013.

Further, the company declared a final dividend of 3.5 pence per share, making 6.5 pence in total for 2015.

Mr. Staley, who took up his post in December, told the BBC that the bank was competing on an global level: “In the last four years Barclays bonus pool has been cut in half… this is a dramatic move but we need to pay competitively whether it’s a bank manager in Manchester or a banker in NY, we need to pay our people competitively for Barclays to be competitive”.

Analysts said Barclays could not be selling at a worse time and they will struggle to find buyers, but Chinese banks might be interested.

Total incentives, including bonuses, were £1.6bn in 2015, down 10 per cent from £1.8bn in 2014.

The bank has cut more 5,700 jobs from the group since it started the recruitment freeze in autumn previous year. Barclays has operated in the continent for nearly a century and owns a 62% stake in Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa Group, which was built up under former chief executives John Varley and Robert Diamond.

It remains to be seen whether Barclays Africa, which on Monday issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to Africa, will revive plans to acquire the Zimbabwean and Egyptian banks after Barclays Plc’s exit.

It has 12 million customers across 12 countries including South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, Zambia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Net income excluding some items plunged 69% to $1.34bn during the year as prices for metals and oil collapsed. “Barclays has been in Africa for over 100 years”, Staley said.

Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL) wishes to reiterate that we remain committed to Africa, where we continue to be optimistic about our growth prospects, and to operate in the normal course of business, according to the company official press statement.

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