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Margaret Mwanakatwe takes on Barclays in Nigeria

Margaret Mwanakatwe, Zambian, out-gone Managing Director of Barclays Bank has been tasked by her employer to open a full-fledged outfit of Barclays in Nigeria.

According to sources, the Associated of Certified Chartered Accountant (ACCA), UK Fellow cum banker who leaves the shores of Ghana on December 1 for her new base in Abuja, Nigeria, will also be in charge of Barclays’ business development activities across West Africa.

Her immediate assignment is to craft a business strategy that will lead to the formation of a well-structured bank of Barclays in Nigeria.

This rubbishes assertions that she was being pushed out of her post in Ghana.

The bank recently announced a £7.3 billion additional capital injection from existing and new strategic and institutional investors and some of the funds are expected to be invested into the formation of the full-fledged bank in Nigeria.

Barclays presently do not operate fully as a financial intermediary in Nigeria even though the West African country’s banking sector is one of the most competitive on the African continent.

Twenty-two (22) banks currently operate in Nigeria, including Ecobank and Stanbic Nigeria which are multinational banks. Others include Zenith, UBA, Intercontinental and Guaranty Trust which have subsidiaries in Ghana.

The banking industry is regarded by analysts as the toughest in the ECOWAS sub region with minimum capital requirement of banks pegged at $192 million or 25 billion Naira. This came into force in 2006, leading to several mergers and acquisitions among the then over 100 banks.

However, the versatile financial guru will leverage on her success in Ghana where she led Barclays Bank Ghana to become the most profitable bank in 2006 to thrive in Nigeria.
Mrs. Mwankatwe, is also expected to lead the bank’s quest to develop Barclays franchising in West Africa.

It will be recalled that the Managing Director of East and West Africa of Barclays, Adam Mohamed said in a statement that Margaret’s deep and broad pan-African experience will play an instrumental role toward its African growth agenda.

Mrs. Mwanakatwe, a Zambian native took over the operations of Barclays Ghana in August 2004 from Dr. Kobina Quansah.

Her presence saw the bank introducing new portfolios to its stream of business, such as micro banking for susu collectors in 2007 as well as the establishment of the offshore banking- International Financial Services Center wing of the bank in the same year.

She crowned her efforts by receiving the most prestigious Order of the Volta, Officer Award from President John Agyekum Kufuor in July this year.

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