There have been some local, regional, and international media reports regarding a decision by Barclays Bank Plc to reduce its shareholding in Barclays Africa Group Ltd which involves twelve (12) African countries including Uganda. Barclays Bank Uganda Ltd. has since held two press conferences to clarify the details of these new developments.
Further to the clarifications offered by Barclays Bank, I wish to reassure the Ugandan public that the Barclays Bank Plc announcement does not affect the operations of Barclays Bank Uganda in any way and there will be no interruption to the services Barclays Bank Uganda Ltd extends to its customers.
The regulatory framework in Uganda ensures that any transitions of this nature are orderly and do not affect the soundness and stability of the financial sector as well as provision of financial services to customers.
Please note the following salient points
1. Commercial Banks in Uganda are incorporated locally and function as independent subsidiaries and not as branches. As such, Barclays Bank Uganda Limited is an independent subsidiary of the Barclays Bank Africa Group (in which Barclays Bank Plc owns 62.3% ) and is fully incorporated and registered in Uganda. Being a subsidiary, Barclays Bank Uganda has its own capital base, Management and an autonomous Board of Directors. This insulates the subsidiary from issues affecting the parent entity.
2. The Financial Institutions Act 2004 as amended by the Financial Institutions Amendment Act 2015 and associated regulations provides for a clear procedure for the disposal of Bank of Uganda supervised financial institutions’ shares. If the shareholders of any bank choose to dispose off their shares, the Bank of Uganda will undertake the necessary process of vetting new shareholders to ensure they are fit and proper to run a financial institution in Uganda.
3. Barclays Bank Uganda Limited remains solvent and liquid. It is well capitalised with a capital adequacy ratio well above the statutory minimum of 8.0 percent. The banking sector in Uganda as a whole has a strong asset and capital base with a capital adequacy ratio of 18.8 percent, as well as a relatively low level of nonperforming loans of about 5.3 percent as at December 2015.
I therefore wish to assure the Ugandan public and customers of Barclays Bank Uganda Ltd. in particular that there is no cause for concern arising from the media announcements by Barclays Bank Plc. Customers should therefore continue with their normal banking transactions without any anxiety. The Bank of Uganda is committed to prudent supervision and regulation of financial institutions in order to ensure the stability and soundness of the financial sector, as well as the safety of customers’ deposits.
Please direct any further enquiries to the Director Communications on firstname.lastname@example.org
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SUPERVISION
BANK OF UGANDA