Barclays Africa Group Limited officially changed its name to Absa Group Limited Wednesday, 11 July.
The Bank said it will rename its subsidiaries in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia within the next two years, subject to approvals.
The name change signals the start of a new era for the group as a standalone African banking group with deep roots on the continent and more than 100 years of experience in Africa’s banking sector.
Absa Group, which plans to open offices in the UK and US, has also launched a new brand design as an expression of its new identity as a forward-looking bank in a digital era. The group’s new business purpose statement is helping to “bring your possibility to life”.
“Our new brand is an expression of our new group identity as a standalone African bank with global scalability,” said Absa Group Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos. “A single name and brand will enable us to unite behind a single identity, purpose and strategy.”
In statement, Barclays Ghana said, "In Ghana the change means a continuation of the products and services that customers currently use, and the opportunity for us to do better for our customers and clients in the future.
Barclays Bank Ghana will be renamed at a later stage, subject to regulatory and other approvals in Ghana. Until then, we will continue to trade/operate under the Barclays brand in Ghana even though our parent name has changed to Absa Group Limited."
"The board and management of Barclays Bank Ghana are excited about the opportunity that this change brings as part of the journey towards becoming a truly transformative bank that is modern, fast-thinking and relevant for future.While the parent company of Barclays Ghana has changed its name today, clients and customers can continue to confidently do business with the bank as they always have.
The bank is here to stay and to work with all our stakeholders to grow a better Ghana. Barclays Ghana remains committed to delivering mutual benefits to shareholders, customers, communities and Ghana," the statement said.
Absa Group started trading under its new name and new share code (ABG) on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange today as it continues the process of separating from Barclays PLC.
The group name and brand change sets in motion one of Africa’s largest rebranding programmes as eventually all Absa and Barclays ATMs, forms, branches, stationery, platforms and other assets across 12 countries will be updated with the new Absa brand design.
Product and service functionality will not be affected by the rebranding programme.
‘Absa’ was chosen as the future brand after wide consultation with employees and stakeholders across the group’s operations over a period of about a year. Existing brand value in the group, the risk of introducing a new name and cost were among the elements considered in deciding the future brand.
Absa, the name of the group’s South African subsidiary, has a pedigree as a strong and stable bank.
The brand has substantial brand equity: Absa was recently named the fourth most valuable brand in South Africa by global brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. There is also significant awareness of the brand in many countries in Africa through Absa’s football sponsorship.
Absa Group announced a new growth strategy in March, prioritising cultural transformation, restoring the group’s leadership position in core business areas, and developing pioneering propositions for customers and clients.
The strategy is expected to double Absa’s share of bank revenues in Africa.