Barclays, NBC Seek to Combine Operations

Barclays Africa Group is discussing with Bank of Tanzania in a move to combine operations of its unit in Tanzania and National Bank Commerce (NBC).

The two banks have been operating independently for the last three years despite being owned by a single entity – Barclays Africa Group. In 2013, ABSA of South Africa bought the majority of the Barclays Plc operations in Africa and created the said group.

Barclays Africa Chief Operating Officer David Hodnett said they are currently engaged in talks with the BoT on NBC and Barclays Tanzania to become a single entity. “We are working with the authority for sustainable way forward of the two banks,” Mr Hodnett, who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa told ‘Daily News’ during a tele-conference on Tuesday.

Barclays Tanzania Managing Director Kihara Maina said the discussions are going-on and soon after completion the market would be informed. “The talks are underway, once they are concluded we will make them public,” Mr Kihara said.

The paper failed to get a comment from Bank of Tanzania (BoT) bank supervision boss as he was in another meeting. Barclays Bank Plc said categorically that the deal would not affect the operations of their entities in Tanzania- NBC and Barclays Tanzania.

However, after the deal both entities struggled with their profitability level that saw NBC and Barclays Tanzania posting profit losses. Barclays Tanzania, one of the top 10 lenders in the land, recorded a cumulative loss of 3.6bn/- in the first nine months of last year compared to 897m/- million recorded the same period of 2014.

The currently NBC Managing Director, Mr Edward Marks, said immediately after his appointment that he focused on system improvement and profitability to steer the bank to new heights in the competitive banking industry.

Barclays Africa owned Barclays Tanzania 100 per cent and at the moment the Tanzania franchise has 80,000 customers with 500 members of staff and 22 branches. While NBC, serving Tanzanians for some 45 years, has more than 52 branches country wide.

In 2000, Absa acquired majority shares of National Bank of Commerce (NBC) while a year later Barclays made a comeback after 33 years since it was nationalised in 1967.

Originally published on DailyNews Tanzania