Our strategic direction
At the heart of Barclays’ strategy is to build on our strength as a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank, anchored in the two financial centres of the world, London and New York.
We have made great progress in simplifying Barclays over the last few years by re-shaping our balance sheet, strengthening our capital base, and reducing costs.
All of this has been done to move us towards becoming a Group which can generate the returns our shareholders deserve and it represents important progress.
But in order to complete our restructuring in a reasonable timeframe, and deliver for shareholders who have been patient for a very long time, requires us to make some definitive choices today about the future shape of the Group.
First, it is our intention, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, if and as required, to reduce our interest in Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL) to a non-controlling, non-consolidated, position in the next two to three years.
It has been very difficult to make this decision. Barclays has been in Africa for over 100 years. We have some excellent franchises on the continent, with a great management team and dedicated colleagues.
Second, besides simplifying our business, we also need to accelerate the separation of our very profitable Core businesses from the drag of our Non-Core businesses as soon as possible. In order to give us the flexibility to accelerate the exit of Non-Core, the Board has decided to reduce our dividend to 3 pence in 2016 and 2017.
We recognise the importance of paying a meaningful dividend as part of total shareholder returns and are committed to doing so in the future.