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Business News of Friday, 2 March 2018

Source: Barclays Africa

Barclays Africa unveil new strategy to grow business

Barclays Africa Group Limited, one of the largest banking groups in Africa, have outlined a new business strategy to deliver on ambitious goals following the successful sell-down by Barclays PLC of its majority stake.

The Group also announced its new corporate identity.
Barclays Africa Group CEO Maria Ramos said, “Our overriding goal is to become a banking group of which Africa can be proud, a forward-looking African business that recognizes our African heritage, rooted in Africa, with global reach. We have a clear and undiluted ambition to double in size and achieve a 12% market share of banking revenues across Africa in five years. It is a bold plan for growth.

“Growth has to be an essential part of our DNA, the driver behind our every action and a core facet of our ambition for this business. Sustainable growth is fundamentally about culture. We are building our culture around a shared sense of purpose and identity, a celebration of our diversity and inclusion, a passion for growth- helping our colleagues bring their possibility to life.

A priority for Barclays Africa is to restore leading positions in core business areas, while expanding into new markets, enabling the group to deliver double-digit growth.

The Group will expand its corporate and investment banking unit to certain international jurisdictions, with offices set to open in London and later in New York, trading as Absa Securities, and offering opportunities for our clients to financial markets offshore, and providing access to corporates and institutions seeking to invest in Africa.

As an independent and stand-alone business, Barclays Africa will have the agility, the means and the risk appetite to strive for growth, said Ramos.
“This is an exciting time for us. The sell-down has provided us with the headroom to reinvigorate our company while building on the proud heritage Barclays has in Africa.

We will work hard to deliver on our new strategy and to build our reputation as a bold, trusted, innovative and customer-focused brand.

Barclays Africa group is building a scalable, digitally led business, passionate about innovation, Ramos said.

Barclays Africa to rebrand to Absa Group

Barclays Africa Group Limited will be renamed as Absa Group Limited in due course and trade as Absa across its operations (currently branded Barclays) in Africa, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

“The sell-down gave us the opportunity 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 re-launched, 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.

“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, Deputy CEO.

“We are re-setting our business with a bold, new growth strategy that leverages our existing footprint and market insights,” Ramos said. “The new identity is further evidence of the scale of the transformation and change in our business – a new brand for a new banking group, ”Ramos said.

About Barclays Africa Group Limited

Barclays Africa Group Limited (‘Barclays Africa Group’ or ‘the Group’) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups.

As of June 2017, Barclays PLC is a minority shareholder in Barclays Africa Group.

Barclays Africa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance.

Barclays Africa Group operates in 10 countries, with approximately 40,000 employees.

The Group’s registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa and owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Barclays Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia.

The Group also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria.