Barclays Bank Botswana, the second biggest listed retail comercial bank excited investors when it posed impressive financial results for the year ended December 31st 2011. Profit before tax bulked up to P644 million, according to the banks Annual Report for the year 2012. This represents an increase of 31 percent when compared to the previous trading period. The second biggest bank by market capitalisation attributes its success to the roll out of its new technology platform, Vision Plus, which the bank said “went live” in the year under review. Credit impairment charges decreased by 28 percent, reflecting improvements in credit quality of customer asset portfolio.
According to Acting Managing Director Aupa Monyatsi, risk management was a key focus in 2011, resulting in the bank taking early management actions in a worsening economic environment which included improved credit scoring processes and increased collection efforts. Of equal importance was investment in infrastructure intended to improve operational efficiencies. Monyatsi said the bank also gained momentum around innovation, as they launched Barclays Internet platform for retail customers. The product offers customers cross border transfers. The retail banking business contributed 62 percent from 64 percent in 2010 to the total income whilst Corporate Banking increased its contribution by 2 percent points to 17 percent.
The bank’s capital position remains strong with core capital ratio at 16.4 percent this year from 17.7 percent in 2010 and capital adequacy ratio at 19.8 percent in 2011 from 24.3 percent in 2010. These are above the minimum regulatory positions of 4 percent core capital adequacy respectively. The bank scoped the Best Bank award from the Euromoney and Emea Finance magazine, the position it has held for three years in a row. Barclays Chairman Rizwaan Desai said the bank recognises that whilst they commit to financial performance, they should also aim to meet the expectations set by customers’ stakeholders. As such, he says they aim to review, revamp and enhance their customer product offerings with a renewed focus on innovation.
“We hope that the suite of products and services that we will introduce in 2012, ranging from enhanced mobile banking technology to the use of IPads in our business will be well received by our customers,” he said. Barclays, which originates from the United Kingdom has been providing banking services in Botswana for almost 60 years. Currently they operate 52 branches including Sales and Service Centres and 101 ATMs.