Barclays Bank of Botswana directors lined their pockets with big bonuses of about P4 million for board meetings and executive pay in 2012 as the biggest listed bank continued to post disappointing profits and stagnant shareholders’ dividends.
Information on excessive payment to executives is contained in Barclays’ latest annual report in Botswana Guardian’s possession. The report indicates that Barclays board of directors chairman, Rizwan Desai and his board members which comprised Lawrence Maika, Alfred Dube, Kenneth Molosi, Mokgadi Nteta, Neo Moroka, Aupa Monyatsi (acting Managing Director) and Lipalesa Makepe (Finance Director) all took home allowances totalling P3, 95 million. In particular, Monyatsi, who is expected to leave for a new role at Barclays Africa, pocked P1, 7 million in executive pay in 2012. He was appointed on acting basis following the controversial resignation of Wilfred Mpai early last year. Makepe, who is the most senior staffer after Monyatsi, was paid P1, 14 million as executive remuneration for services rendered in the same year. Makepe was not a director last year.
Concerning board members who are not employed on full time basis, Desai, who is also a partner at Collins and Newman Company smiled all the way to the bank to claim his P230, 000 after attending twelve (12) main board meetings, credit as well as for remunerations and nominations committees. Desai’s fees are the same when compared to what he claimed in 2011. Right on his heels is Nteta who garnered around P200 000 for attending eight board meetings comprising (main and human resources committee) in 2012. This is an increase of P20, 000 when compared to what she received in the previous period under review. Nteta is an experienced human resources consultant who is also the Barclays independent non-executive director. Other directors such as Molosi, Moroka and Maika had their accounts credited between P150 000 and P160 000. Overall, board fees for 2012 are higher than the P3, 3 million that was paid the year before. While the bank directors’ pay was hiked in 2012, profits for the company declined. For the year ending 2012, the bank recorded a lower profit of P442 million compared to P539 million realised in 2011.
This brings the question of whether the board, which gives the bank direction, really ‘deserved’ a pay hike for the year, based on declining profits. In the annual report, Barclays stated that the main role of the board is to remain accountable to the bank and shareholders, effectively monitor the bank’s management as well as achieve agreed strategies. Meanwhile, shareholders at the bank did not smile as directors did. Earnings Per Share (EPS) for the period under review decreased to 51,91 thebe in 2012, from 61,79 thebe the year before. This means shareholders’ share per unit has decreased, hence a lower pay when compared to 2011. The company declared 11,73 thebe per share, same as in 2011. Speaking of the results, Desai expressed disappointment. He explained that 2012 was tough for the Botswana Stock Exchange listed bank. He cited uncertainties at both domestic and global market, in particular challenges at Barclays Plc in London. Barclays plc, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) outfit was rocked by allegations of abuse of the London Interbank Offer Rate, in which customers are alleged to have been charged exorbitant fees. The results, which affected the bank’s brand led to both Chairman and Chief Executive resigning.
Desai also said poor performance of the mineral sector also poses challenges to the bank. On a related matter, Desai announced that Monyatsi, who has been acting as Managing Director since last year, will leave for a more ‘challenging’ role at parent company Barclays Africa. This will happen once a new MD has been identified, said Desai. The process of recruiting a substantive MD is ongoing. First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) Chief Executive, Lorato Boakgomo-Ntakhwana is alleged to have declined the plum post. Meanwhile, at the close of market on Tuesday, the bank share price lost 17 thebe to trade at 675 thebe, far from the 719thebe reached in the last 12 months.