Barclays Africa Group Limited has this week Wednesday announced that it is now officially known as Absa Group Limited, but the date for name change on the local subsidiary of the bank is not yet known.
Barclays Bank Botswana Finance Director – now the Acting Managing Director of the bank, Mumba Kalifungwa – said they cannot provide a date yet, “but we will keep you and our valued customers updated.”
Kalifungwa said the brand will launch in Botswana in due course, subject to regulatory and other approvals.
Barclays Bank Botswana will continue to operate as such and according to Kalifungwa, products and services offered by the bank will remain unchanged and not affected by the group name change.
The local subsidiary has until 2020 to cease using the brand as the parent company is no longer a subsidiary of the London based Barclays PLC. Absa has been part of Barclays Africa since 2005 when the latter took over control of Absa, and will now revert back to its original name.
However, Barclays Botswana Acting MD said this is not the old Absa that Barclays decided to invest in all years ago.
“As a brand that now represents banks in 10 countries, we are much bigger, more diverse, and you will see that we are more purposeful and bolder,” said Kalifungwa. He said a lot of research and consultation has been done across markets to inform the group’s brand future.
“In the end, Absa makes a lot of sense as it already has substantial pedigree as a strong and stable bank,” said Kalifungwa, adding that the group has a clear vision, which is to double its share of banking revenue in Africa from 6 – 12 percent.
The bank launched a new group strategy in March and prioritised three areas being building a thriving organisation through cultural transformation; restring leadership in core business areas and building pioneering new propositions for customers.
The name change, Kalifungwa said, gives the group an opportunity to do things differently as an independent bank.
“We will be able to make decisions that are right for our customers and client base.”
While the bank parent name has changed, Kalifungwa has assured customers that they can continue to bank with them as they always have. The change in the name is a process that can be traced back to March 2016 when Barclays PLC chief executive announced that the bank planned to exit its African operations in the next two to three years to focus on business in the US and the UK.
Absa Group operates 11 countries in the continent, including in Botswana and the rebranding exercise comes after the London based bank’s stake was reduced from a majority stake to 14.9 percent.