Barclays has announced plans to scale back business in Africa and slash dividend payments as it continues a broader retrenchment designed to boost capital levels.
The bank will have two divisions in future when doing business: One will serve U.K. personal and business customers and the second will be a “transatlantic business” focused on international corporate and investment banking.
Barclays has operated in Africa for more than 100 years. This change will take place over the next three years. Barclays has also said that it will also exit its banking businesses in Egypt and Zimbabwe, which are operated separately at this time.
The one point that is not totally clear how quickly Barclays will be able to unload all its African assets, given the overall slower global growth and the collapse in commodity prices.
The bank’s loss for 2015 was wider than analysts had anticipated. Barclays shares dropped 10% after the announcement. Investors have pushed the stock down by 25% this year, and 35% over the past six months.
In another setback, the bank revealed it is cooperating with U.S. investigators who are probing the bank’s hiring practices in Asia.
The U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission is known to be conducting a wider investigation into whether banks hired the children of influential politicians in order to win business.