Barclays criticised over management of Absa

29 March 2007

The governor of South Africa's central bank has publicly criticised Barclays Bank over its takeover of local retail bank Absa.

Tito Mboweni levelled the criticism of the British bank's stewardship of Absa in a newspaper interview in which he described the leadership from Barclays as "discouraging" and told the Financial Times (FT) that "Barclays doesn't manage Absa".

In particular, Mr Mboweni identified a lack of communication between the two parties since Barclays acquired a controlling share in Absa in July 2005 and said that the takeover had not seen the promised rollout of services and products that would garner new custom.

Responding to his remarks in the FT, Barclays told the newspaper: "Absa has seen customer numbers and staff morale increase and we believe it has delivered a great deal of value to all its stakeholders."

Barclays paid close to $1.5 billion for a 56 per cent stake in Absa in a move that is intended to increase the proportion of its earnings from overseas markets.

Become a bobsguide member to access the following

1. Unrestricted access to bobsguide
2. Send a proposal request
3. Insights delivered daily to your inbox
4. Career development