Barclays Plc and the Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe board of directors are constituting a board of trustees to superintend the 322 998 026 ordinary shares to be housed under the Employee Share Ownership Trust.
This is equivalent to 15 percent of the issued shares of BBZ.
This comes after Barclays Plc announced the payment of bonuses to workers of BBZ. The bonuses will be paid out within 30 days of conclusion of the transaction which is before regulatory authorities.
In a letter to BBZ workers this week seen by Business Weekly, board chairman Mr Anthony Mandiwanza confirmed that the holdings group will reward BBZ workers.
“Following close consultation with the board of BBZ, Barclays Plc has also advised that it will pay a closing off bonus which will be five times the basic salary of each permanent BBZ employee, across the board.
“All colleagues will receive individual communication advising of the bonus payment. Different parameters will however apply to contract employees and these will be communicated accordingly. It is the intention to pay the closing off bonus within 30 days of the close of the transaction,” said Mr Mandiwanza.
The ex gratia bonus, equal to five months’ salary per person to be paid to every employee of Barclays will be taxable in line with local regulations.
Ex gratia is a sum of money paid when there was no obligation or liability to pay it.
As at 2015, BBZ had about 650 employees and the gesture by Barclays Plc will be extended to all of them.
The development follows the decision by the British holding bank to divest from a number of its operations, including Zimbabwe.
Mr Mandiwanza said the ESOT shares will be held in perpetuity by the ESOT and will benefit the current and future employees of BBZ who will be in the bank’s employ as and when a dividend is declared.
“Plc and the BBZ board are now setting up a board of trustees that will be made up of a Plc representative, the BBZ board chairman, a non-managerial employees’ representative, a managerial employee representative and an independent board of trustees’ chairperson,” said Mr Mandiwanza.
The local unit was snapped by Malawi financial services group FMB Capital Holdings on May 30 this year following the British bank’s disposal of 42 percent of the 67,68 percent stake it held in BBZ, subject to certain terms and conditions.
Barclays Plc will maintain a residual investment of 10 percent in BBZ.
The British Bank and FMB are in the process of obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals in order to close off the transaction.
However, Business Weekly is reliably informed that the approvals are at an advanced stage.
FMB is a financial institution listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange, and holds equity interests in banking operations in Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia.
The transaction including the deal to ‘thank’ BBZ employees was brokered by Barclays Plc lawyers in London, Norton Rose Fulbright and Baker and the bank’s local representative and corporate lawyer Addington Chinake.
The British bank’s exit from Zimbabwe was part of its strategy to divest out of the African market.
Recently the group also reduced its stake in Barclays Africa Group — formerly ABSA — to 15 percent selling $2,83 billion worth of shares.