Barclays Africa Rebrands to Absa Group


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Barclays Africa Group Limited has Thursday announced its plans to rebrand to Absa Group Limited across its operations which are currently branded Barclays in Africa.

The planned rebranding still awaits approvals from the financial institution’s shareholders as well as the regulators.

In a statement issued by the Barclays Africa Group CEO Maria Ramos, she said that the strategy to rebrand to Absa arises from the 2017 transactions that saw Barclay’s PLC, the major shareholder in Barclays Africa sell down its investment.

“The sell-down gave us the opportunity to determine a comoletelt new direction, to roll out a brand that reflects our identity in Africa and to unite our operations in 10 countries behind one name,” Ramos said.

“We will be Absa, not as you know it, but relaunched, re-presented and with an identity fit for the new and forward-looking business we are creating.”

Absa is currently the brand of the Barclays Africa Group’s South African business. The Absa brand has substantial equity as one of the largest banks in South Africa and enjoys recognition in many of the countries in which Barclays Africa operates under the Barclays brand currently.

Barclays Africa Group undertook extensive research internally and externally, in a process that included more than 130,000 conversations with employees and stakeholders about the brand and strategy of the Group.

However, in the case of Uganda, the process of fully rebranding will wait until 2020, according to Peter Matlare, the Deputy CEO for Barcalys Uganda.

“The implementation of this decision necessitates that we take into account practical considerations and dynamics in each market so that it is as seamless as possible. The change will be rolled out in time, bearing in mind the mid-2020 rebranding deadline. This transition will be undertaken with the utmost care,” said Peter Matlare.

He told journalists at a news conference on Thursday that the transition in Uganda will be financed using part of the 765 millions Pounds that Barclays Africa is set to distribute among the different country branches.

Matlare assured the clientele in Uganda that “the bank is going to be here, the products and services will still be the same” and that the rebranding won’t have any impact on them.

The announcement came along with Barclays Africa’s annual financial report since Barclays PLC partially pulled out, indicating a 4% increase in headline earnings in 2017 despite the continued slow economic expansion in some of the Group’s largest markets, including South Africa, where the Group generates approximately 80% of its income.

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