The news of Barclays Bank PLC soon to pull out of Africa has been met with mixed reactions. Some view them as an organisation from the colonial regime and benefited from the evils that took place pre-1980 and if anything that should have been out of here long ago.
While another school of thought bemoans the pull out of anther multinational company from the country and affects the perception of FDI (foreign direct investment) that the country desperately needs. That this is an African wide pull out is not any more of a consolation, as if anything ‘brand Africa’ needs to be sold collectively and this move by the British based organisation puts a dent to that image.
In remembering the contribution that Barclays have made to Zimbabwe, we’ve managed to compile this list of 8 milestones that they’ve managed to achieve while being here. (Source Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe)
1912; Opened first branch after Bank of Africa was acquired by National Bank of South Africa and effectively became Barclays Bank controlled from South Africa.
1928; as the business grew, the first Barclays Committee was established, responsible for local controls based in Bulawayo. 10 branches were opened by that time.
Computers in Banks
1956; Barclays was the first bank to introduce computers making banking service delivery increasingly efficient. During that time Barclays was implementing a comprehensive training programme running between 1951-1958.
1960; Barclays was the first to introduce the first night safe and safe deposit facility featured on its newly established 8-storey head office in Harare built out of diamante sandstone on a black granite plinth and designed by Francis Lorne.
1987; the first country branch was established in Gokwe officially opened by the then Deputy Prime Minister who praised Barclays for heeding the government’s call to bring banking to rural people.
Share Public Offer
1991; Barclays was the first financial institution to offer 30% of its shares to the public in an effort to encourage Zimbabwe to become first time investors. The issue was oversubscribed five-fold and caused a record rise in stock market prices.
1993; Barclays was one of the only two banks to have installed ATMs to improve service delivery and by 1993 Barclays had 50 ATMs.
2008-2012; Barclays rationalised its support structures and foot print in line with business levels obtaining which resulted in reduction in fulltime employees from a peak of 1,423 in January 2008 to around 700 currently.
Image Via: Technomag.co.zw