Malawi’s First Merchant Bank takes over Barclays Bank Zimbabwe

Backlays Plc has sold its majority stake in its Zimbabwean operation to Malawi’s First Merchant Bank (FMB), putting an end to months of a fierce bidding war to take over one of the country’s iconic financial institutions, according to reports.


The First Merchant Bank  announced it is in exclusive discussions to buy Barclays Bank Zimbabwe.

FMB said in a statement on its website it is in exclusive talks to buy out the 68 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe which are owned by the British company.

The remaining 32 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s shares are traded on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.

“It’s a done deal,” Zimbabwe Independent quoted a source. “It was signed in London yesterday (Tuesday). Barclays Plc and FMB managers have just arrived in Harare for meetings to finalise the transaction pending regulatory approvals.”

According to  report in Zimbabwe Independent and NewsDay of Zimbabwe, Barclays Bank Zimbabwe was established in 1912, and has operated in the country continuously since then, making it a landmark feature on the local financial services landscape.

The bank, listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), has over 1 000 employees and a countrywide network of 38 branches in main urban areas.

Barclays Bank Plc, which held 67,68% shareholding in the local unit, last year announced it was disposing of its African assets, including in Zimbabwe, to focus on British and American markets.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe, alongside the Egyptian business, was not part of the 2013 deal that saw Barclays Africa, formerly ABSA, acquire eight African operations from

its parent company due to high local political risk.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From the World

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Goodness Banda

Wow. These guys are taking over. I you are still banking with National you are living in the past

Chris Njex

Good development. Now you will learn how better perks mean in Zimbabwe. You will appreciate that you have grown so huge, atleast by underpaying your workforce. Managers in Zim, are assigned top of the range vehicles, hefty salaries, Have I added entertainment allowance? Hard luck!

Congratulations FMB. Unfortunately Barclays Zimbabwe is currently run by cowboys who appoint friends and yes man to key positions. Their EXCO is made up of buddies and the HR Director employs his own and relatives of these. Its sad to note the misguided resistance by Barclays workers that was sponsored by the Executive Team in a bid to scuttle the deal. This requires you to go in quickly, close all looting avenues and then clean up the place. When Barclays UK started selling the bank, management in Zimbabwe went on a luxury car acquisition spree buying MERCEDES BENZS and LANDROVER… Read more »
Hlabezulu Ngonoonda

As an interested person, Tafadzwa, your observation is in order. May be First Merchant Bank has taken note of the events at Barclays Zimbabwe. In any case First Merchant should be on the look to see to it that they have not taken over an entity that had already taken a management route which Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) took before collapsing few years ago.

Zinenani Zoona

The banks rip us off with high interest rates in Malawi in order to buy banks outside Malawi. Our government of crooks does not even protect us from these crooked bankers. Malawi will continue to cry until Chakwera goes to state house.


Wow! Kudos FMB.

More From Nyasatimes