Barclays Bank: Northern Rhodesia

Barclays Bank

Northern Rhodesia

In 1925, the National Bank of South Africa was acquired by Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas). Following this, three offices were inherited in Northern Rhodesia: Kabwe (Broken Hill), Bwana Mkubwa and Fort Jameson.

Communications were difficult in the early years, but the building of the Great East Road in the 1920s linked Chipata with Lusaka. Barclays opened further offices, particularly to serve the Copperbelt that was then being developed – hence branches at Ndola, Nkana, Roan and Mufulira. Barclays was the first bank in this region.

Post-war rural development led to the provision of mobile branches, allowing those in remote areas to access banking services.

Barclays formed a local board when Northern Rhodesia gained independence as Zambia in 1964. The business was incorporated locally as Barclays Bank of Zambia Ltd on 1 October 1971, a wholly owned subsidiary, by which time there were 27 full branches.


  • James Gavin