Panic as Barclays Botswana restructures


A RESTRUCTURING is looming at Barclays Bank of Botswana as the bank has relocated some of its services to South Africa leaving 23 employees idle while 11 have been redeployed.

It is understood two services, which include the contact centre and credit card application-processing unit, have already been relocated to the neighbouring country with three more units expected to be moved this year.

Bank insiders said the move, which was part of the Africa integration strategy, has left many employees uncertain about their future, especially the 23 who have been idling since the relocation.

“We get the essence that they want to get rid of us. Some of us who’ve been invited to apply for new jobs didn’t get the offers while those who didn’t apply got offers to some other departments, which they are unfamiliar with,” the source said.

In response, the bank’s public and media relations manager, Spencer Moreri confirmed that they have relocated some of their services to the neighbouring country.

“We can confirm that we’re consolidating our self-operated Contact Centre operations into our South Africa Shared Services centre as part of our Africa strategy and all impacted employees will be absorbed into other parts of the business,” he said.

He added that the bank would continue investing in infrastructure as well as deployment of innovative products and systems to improve the way they reach and serve their customers in the market.

Barclays has been outsourcing the collections services, which is said to be in line to be relocated to the neighbouring country.

Other services in line to be relocated include the loans processing and card operations centre. Last year the bank closed four branches in the country, which were not making profits.

According to the 2014 Banking Supervision Annual Report, Barclays had 41 branched in Botswana employing 1,241 workers.

Another source also revealed that the departure of Pele Moleta was a result of him opposing certain choices of relocating most of the services to South Africa.

Moleta’s resignation barely months after joining Barclays Bank of Botswana shocked the markets with some speculating that he was forced to resign after being headhunted by the bank’s board in a quest to localise the managing director post.

It is also understood that ABSA might be aligning to take over small Barclays African operations including Botswana, which sources within the bank, said would make it easier for them to relocate most of the services to South Africa thus leaving most of the bank employees jobless.

Last week, Barclays Plc announced that it is selling 62.3 percent shareholding in Barclays Africa Group over the next two to three years.
Barclays Africa in turn owns 67.8 percent of Barclays Bank of Botswana.

The sale of the Barclays Africa Group shareholding by its parent company, Barclays Plc might result in Absa taking over Botswana’s operations as currently Barclays Africa Group operates as Absa in South Africa. — Mmegi online

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