Barclays to move Africa HQ from Dubai, affecting 123 jobs

Lender will close Dubai office at the end of the year, staff can relocate or leave the bank
Barclays to move Africa HQ from Dubai, affecting 123 jobs
Barclays is the latest European bank to announce a restructuring of its operations as lenders continue to feel the impact of the global credit crunch and a drop in retail lending
By Shane McGinley
Sun 08 May 2011 05:13 PM

Barclays Plc will move its Africa headquarters in Dubai back to Johannesburg in a move that may affect 123 employees, the British lender said Sunday.

Staff will be given the chance to relocate or leave the bank before the Dubai office closes at the end of the year, the company said in an emailed statement to Arabian Business.

“We have 123 employees currently working in the Barclays Africa Regional office that is being relocated to South Africa,” Sami Lahoud, head of corporate affairs at Barclays Africa, said.

“The right thing to do is to move it back there closer to our customers and clients, and to achieve better synergies with Absa.”

Barclays staff had been informed of the decision, he said, though a source at the bank said employees had not been told of their options.  

The British lender bought 54 percent of Absa Group in 2005, in a deal valued at around $4.5bn.

Barclays Africa headquarters was based in South Africa until 2006 when it was moved to Dubai.

The lender’s made a series of job cuts in its UAE operations last year as it moved to downsize its retail unit and focus on its investment business.

Barclays is the latest European bank to announce a restructuring of its operations as lenders continue to feel the impact of the global credit crunch and a drop in retail lending.

HSBC said last week it planned to lay off up to three percent of its 12,000-strong workforce in the Middle East and North Africa, while British lender Standard Chartered cut staff in the first quarter to minimise costs.  

In April, Barclays posted a nine percent fall in first-quarter pretax profit to £1.66bn ($2.7bn).

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