Barclays Africa is no more after its banks in seven African countries — Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania and Zambia — were rebranded Absa on Monday.
Absa’s subsidiaries in Uganda and Mozambique were renamed in November. In 2016, the UK controlling shareholder of Barclays Africa Group, Barclays Plc, announced that it wanted to sell its 62 percent stake of its African banks, which included Absa SA and banks in 11 other countries in Africa.
The sale that netted more than R37.5 billion, was completed by the end of 2017 leaving Barclays Plc with a minority 16.5 percent shareholding.
On Monday, the name changes came into legal effect across the continent, which Absa called a “substantial milestone” in the three-year process to take over from UK Barclays.
“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,” Absa group chief executive officer, Mr Daniel Mminele.
“We are now united under a single brand in 12 countries in Africa.
“Today, we as the Absa Group, reaffirm 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 Mr Peter Matlare, Absa group deputy chief executive officer and chief executive of Absa regional operations.
Absa also has representative offices in London and New York. The rebranding started in SA when it launched its new logo in the country in July 2018. Absa has a presence in 12 countries in Africa, with about 42 000 employees.
In 2017, Barclays plc concluded a transaction in which it disposed an effective 42,7 percent of its shareholding in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe to the Mauritius registered FMB Capital Holdings, which is now the major shareholder while Barclays plc retained 10 percent shareholding.
First Merchant Bank (FMB) is a financial institution established in 1995, and is listed on the Malawi Stock Exchange and also has equity interests in banking operations in other regional countries. — Business Day/Business Reporter