Barclays Africa Group Limited, one of the largest banking groups in Africa, has 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 recognises our African heritage, rooted in Africa, with global reach. We have a clear and undiluted ambition to double our market share of African banking revenues to 12%.” 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 Group Limited will be renamed 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 relaunched, 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.
“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.