Barclays has increased its contribution to the African market and strengthened its business in South Africa, the bank said in a recently published report.
It is working to accelerate its continental business plan and deliver its commitments as per its Africa strategy, the report added.
Barclays had set, in March 2014, a three year growth strategy for its business, based on the strength of the franchise, through an African bank that is fully local, regional and international.
In the first six months of 2015, Barclays Africa Group’s loan growth improved to 7% and their interest margin continued to widen. Together with modest price increases, this improved the core transactional revenue growth from -1% last year to +6%, the bank said.
In June, Barclays Africa’s strategy was reaffirmed by the Barclays PLC Board, and Barclays Africa was confirmed as one of the group’s four core businesses and one of the key franchises it will invest in for growth.
Discussing the progress it has made in the three year journey, the bank said that it has gained half a million new customers in retail banking, adding that production levels grew in selected asset classes. For example, home loan production in June was the highest in many years.
Internet banking users increased by 17% and usage of the Barclays banking app increased by 107% in volume. Teller transactions have declined by 21%, with customers adopting alternative channels. “Overall, in the retail and business bank, customer satisfaction is up and complaints are down,” the bank said.
In their three-year goal, Barclays targets a return on equity (RoE) of 18-20%. For the first half in 2015, RoE was 16.4% compared to 16.1% in the first half 2014. Barclays is currently one of the top three banks in South Africa, Botswana and Ghana, with scope to improve in Kenya and Zambia, where they are the fourth.
With regard to cost-to-income ratio, the bank’s cost-to-income ratio has improved marginally to 55.9%. “We are on track to meet our commitment by 2016,” the bank said.
The bank’s business outside South Africa will contribute between 20% and 25% of overall revenue. The first half saw the increase of revenue share to 20.3%, putting the bank in the target range.