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September 13, 2022

Barclays seeks to boost private banking in Africa

British banking giant Barclays is looking to strengthen its private banking business in Africa to target the $2 trillion private wealth market in the region, reported Bloomberg.

The move comes as the African high-net worth market is anticipated to grow by 38% in the next decade, according to Africa Wealth Report published in April this year.

In order to increase its operations in the continent, Barclays has selected nine bankers from Credit Suisse Group. The bankers are primarily based in Dubai, London and Zurich.

The selection was done after the UK-based group reached an agreement to deal with customers named by the Credit Suisse, stated Barclays private bank CEO Jean-Christophe Gerard. 

Gerard was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Barclays franchise in Africa is experiencing an accelerated build-out across south, west and east Africa.

“This will be done through organic growth and the referral agreement we have with Credit Suisse.”

However, Barclays’ latest plan contradicts its departure from retail banking business in South Africa.  Recently, the company sold last of its operation in Absa Group, a Johannesburg-based firm.

According to Gerard, nearly 50% of Africa’s super-rich live South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, and the company will target these areas.

Gerard also noted that investments in technology companies such as the ones involved in agriculture, finance and health are growing from affluent Africans. It has paved way for a growth in start-up investment in Africa.  

Africa’s super rich are also increasingly investing in UK real estate, said Gerard.

Currently, Barclays has approximately 15 bankers in South Africa and has plan to employ additional bankers in the region, stated the bank’s country CEO Amol Prabhu.

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