Absa Group Limited’s Barclays-branded subsidiaries in seven African countries – Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania and Zambia – were renamed as ‘Absa’ today, completing the name change across the continent. Absa Group’s subsidiaries in Uganda and Mozambique were renamed in November.
The renaming of the remaining subsidiaries today marks another substantial milestone in Absa’s separation from Barclays PLC, a three-year process scheduled for completion by mid-2020.
“More than a name change, this is a milestone that brings us closer to realising our ambition as a leading African bank to support growth and development on the continent and beyond,” said Absa Group Chief Executive Daniel Mminele. “We are now united under a single brand in 12 countries in Africa.” Absa also has representative offices in London and New York.
The group-wide rebranding programme, one of the largest corporate rebranding projects in Africa currently, started with the launch of a refreshed visual identity in South Africa in July 2018 to reflect the group’s new identity as a standalone African bank. The name and brand change programme has seen the Absa logo replacing Barclays branding on thousands of asset types, including branches, offices, ATMs, uniforms, cards, stationary, forms, apps, websites and more.
“Today, we as the Absa Group, re-affirm our commitment to contributing to growth and economic development in Africa. We have a long-established and respected legacy in all our African markets, which will serve us well for the future,” said Peter Matlare, Absa Group Deputy CEO and Chief Executive of Absa Regional Operations. “By adopting the Absa name, we are leveraging our rich African heritage in order to drive relevant initiatives that will further unlock our continent’s potential, deepen regional integration and support accelerated growth,” he said.
The renaming of the subsidiaries is being celebrated with an array of events across the countries, as part of the marketing and communications drive to create awareness of the name change.
The rebranding programme unites Absa’s operations in 12 African countries behind a single identity, purpose and strategy.
Absa brand transition timeline
· March 2016: Barclays PLC announces that it will reduce its ownership of Barclays Africa Group Limited (now called Absa Group Limited) from 62.3% to a minority shareholding, over time. This comes as global bank regulations tighten after the 2008 financial crisis, making it less attractive for international banks to own stakes in banks abroad.
· December 2017: PLC concludes the sell-down, leaving the UK company with a 14.9% stake in the Group. Barclays PLC indicates that this is its long-term desired ownership level, and says that it does not plan to effect further sales at this time.
· March 2018: Barclays Africa Group announces new Group strategy focused on growth, of which Absa Regional Operations (Absa’s operations outside of South Africa) is crucial.
· July 2018: The Group’s name is changed from Barclays Africa Group Limited to Absa Group Limited, and the decision to change subsidiary names to ‘Absa’ is announced. A refreshed brand is unveiled in South Africa.
· November 2019: Barclays Bank Uganda and Barclays Bank Mozambique are renamed as Absa
· February 2020: All remaining Barclays-branded subsidiaries are renamed as ‘Absa’