Barclays Kenya to cut 200 jobs

Reuters, Wednesday 19 Jan 2011

The bank says it wants to remain competitive with its peers

Barclays Bank of Kenya, majority-owned by British lender Barclays, is cutting 200 management-level staff, or about 5 per cent of its workforce, to cut costs by an unspecified amount.

Spokeswoman Nuru Mugambi said on Wednesday the lender had "reviewed its structure to better match the strategic direction of its business".

Shares in Kenya's second biggest bank in Kenya by assets were flat at 64.00 shillings. The stock fell late last year when news of the job cuts first filtered into the market.

African Alliance Investment Bank analyst Francis Mwangi said investors would likely hold onto the stock in anticipation of earnings per share being buoyed by last year's sale of its custody business to rival Standard Chartered Kenya.

Barclays Bank of Kenya was due to report full-year results in March. On November 19, it reported nine-month pretax profit rose 6 percent to 7.01 billion shillings, while loans and advances to customers fell 5 per cent to 91.7 billion.

Mwangi said Barclays Bank of Kenya had been the best performer in terms of growing its advances in 2007-08, but shifted strategy following the financial crisis and became more conservative as part of the bank's global group strategy.

"By cutting costs, the signal is that the bank wants to remain conservative compared with its peers ... The bank's peers have seen an average growth of the loan books of about 20 per cent, while Barclays has been negative since the last quarter of 2008," he said.

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