Africa’s best international private bank: Barclays Private Bank
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Africa’s best international private bank: Barclays Private Bank

Seven years ago, Barclays’ then chief executive Jes Staley decided to gradually sell down its Johannesburg-listed African unit, including retail banks across the continent. But when Credit Suisse announced a strategic refresh in 2021 – including selling its ultra-high net-worth private client book in nine African markets – Barclays saw it as a chance to gain bulk in African private banking once again.

As part of the deal, Barclays took on a 20-strong team of private bankers and support staff across Dubai, Zurich and London. The deal included African economies such as Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, but excluded South Africa.

“Make no mistake, the deal has been a game changer for us,” Amol Prabhu, Barclays’ South Africa country chief and Africa market head told Euromoney late last year. “We’ve experienced five years of growth in just 18 months. Our Africa ultra-high net-worth private banking business has nearly tripled in size.”

Although Barclays sees itself as a mid-sized private bank, it believes this has advantages in the extent to which it can offer bespoke solutions for UHNW clients.

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