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Our operating environment

Our operating environment

Our strategy is focused on the opportunity for growth. It takes into account the matters we believe are material to our long-term sustainability and our ability to leverage our assets and expertise across the
Barclays Africa Group.

We believe our ability to create value is directly linked with our ability to effectively address a number of emerging issues and the associated material matters. The external environment continues to evolve rapidly across a broad spectrum of issues. We must be responsive to the market and the resultant risks and opportunities and we therefore continue to monitor and assess the impacts of global, regional and local change. These environmental considerations are a key input into our process of identifying and managing the matters material to our sustainability.

  • Global economic conditions, including the slowdown in China and related drop in commodity prices has negatively impacted many African economies
  • Increased uncertainty and volatility in key economic indicators
  • Domestic economic challenges including inflation and currency depreciation
  • South African economic fundamentals in particular remain strained and growth expectations are muted

Related material matters

Related risks
Credit
Market
Funding

  • Many local banks are growing faster than global and regional banks
  • Raised expectations of customers and clients
  • Disintermediation/non-traditional competitors distributing banking products
  • Reduced time to market for new products and improved technology as rapid advances deliver new low-cost, fully digital banking products off the back of virtual solutions
  • Personal banking is rapidly starting to centre around mobile applications
  • Complexity of managing IT and cyber risks

Related material matters

Related risks
Credit
Market
Funding
Operational

  • Increasing active supervision and regulation of financial services, with a particular focus on consumer protection
  • Potential for disparate regulatory standards across geographies and key areas of business
  • Pressure on fees and margins due to regulatory intervention and competitive forces
  • Significant accounting and regulatory developments including IFRS 9 (accounting for financial instruments), IFRS 4 (proposed changes to insurance contract accounting)and BCBS 239 (principles for effective risk data aggregation and reporting as defined by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision)

Related material matters

Related risks
Credit
Market
Funding
Operational
Conduct

  • Competition for specialised skill sets such as IT, data analytics and risk management
  • Resource mobility (regional and global) and new ways of working, for instance crowd sourcing
  • Imperative for inclusion and diversity
  • Ongoing cost pressure and the automation of processes impacting human resource (HR) requirements
  • Evolving technological developments create a disconnect between our future required resources and current employee skill sets
  • Employees are increasingly seeking flexible and dynamic working conditions and a tailored employee value proposition

Related material matters

Related risks
Operational
Conduct

  • Infrastructure challenges including electricity and water supply
  • Rapid growth in young population and expanding mass and middle market in Africa
  • Extent of unemployment, especially in the youth segment
  • Political and social unrest including consumer activism and terrorism
  • Activism in a broader range of social, environmental and governance-related matters

Related material matters

Related risks
Operational
Conduct