Wednesday, September 23, 2020

No date set yet for Barclays-Absa name change in Botswana

While the bank is certainly readying for change in names from Barclays to Absa in the local market, no date has been identified yet.

“We cannot provide a date yet, but we will keep you and our valued customers updated. Right now, we continue to be known as Barclays Bank of Botswana and our products and services are not affected by the group name change”, said Barclays Bank Botswana Acting Managing Director (MD) Mumba Kalifungwa.

Kalifungwa’s sentiment comes at a time when Barclays Africa this week unveiled the bank’s new look under the name Absa. Kalifungwa says the banking group will launch the Absa brand in Botswana in due course, subject to regulatory and other approvals.

He added that the changes will not however affect the bank’s local shareholding in BBB.

The recent change of names follows a groundbreaking transaction in 2017 that saw the bank’s majority shareholder, Barclays PLC, selling downs its investment.

At the same time, it is said that a transitional trade mark license agreement, entered into between Barclays Africa Group and Barclays PLC as part of the separation arrangement, inter alia, provided that the Barclays brand may only be used in the rest of Africa up to 6 June 2020, subject to an additional two-year run off period in respect of debit and credit cards.

Meanwhile the group, which has operations in 10 African countries, opened the first of its branches bearing the refreshed Absa brand in South Africa on Thursday.

“This is an exciting time as we create a new Absa with a new brand design, fit for a forward-looking bank in a digital era,” said Maria Ramos, Absa Group Chief Executive Officer at the Thursday launch.

Ramos and other executives highly believe that the updated look is also more approachable, more dynamic and more vibrant with a wider spectrum of colours.

The first phase of rebranded Absa bank branches was revealed on Thursday at more than 30 key locations across the country. Other branches and assets, including buildings, forms and digital platforms are also being updated to reflect the new brand design.

Absa intends to rebrand its operations across Africa, most of which currently use the Barclays brand, by 2020, Botswana included. This process covers more than 1,000 branches and 10,000 ATMs.  The project will likely be one of the largest rebranding programmes in Africa at this time.

It is said that, the rebranding programme will not affect customers’ product of service functionality.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.