Barclays Africa reclaims African identity
The people have spoken and Barclays Africa has listened. The bank plans to reclaim its African identity by changing its name back to Absa across the continent in the next two years.
Barclays Africa operates in 12 African countries. The rebrand comes after Barclays decided in 2016 to divest its African operations after 11 years on the continent. The London bank’s stake has been reduced from a majority stake to 14.9%. It is set to contribute £765m ($1.05bn) to fund investments required for it to separate from the group.
Barclays Africa conducted extensive market research before deciding on the rebrand, according to Maria Ramos, chief executive of the Johannesburg-headquartered bank.
“We spoke to more than 130,000 customers and clients on the name change. This is not Absa as you know it. It’s Absa that reflects African culture,” said Ramos.
The news comes as Barclays Africa reported group earnings rose 4% year-on-year to R15bn ($1.3bn) in 2017. The bank aims to expand its operations to capture at least 12% of Africa’s banking market share.