Barclays Africa revamps strategy in return to its Absa Roots

Barclays Africa Group Ltd. is going back to its roots.

The Johannesburg-based bank plans to revert back to the Absa Group Ltd. name, as it was known before Barclays Plc took control of the company in 2005.

With the British bank’s stake now reduced to 14.9 percent, Barclays Africa is also embarking on a plan to double in size and capture at least 12 percent of banking revenues across the continent.

“We will stretch ourselves to develop the platform for double-digit growth,” Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos said on a conference call on Thursday. “This is a critical period in which we will need to complete our separation from Plc, build and scale new capabilities, and rebuild our organizational and cultural foundations to capture growth.”

The lender, which has operations in 12 African countries, is forging its own path after Barclays Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley opted to reduce the British bank’s presence on the continent in favor of a trimmed-down investment bank focused on London and New York.

With the split on track, Ramos, 59, said she will consider acquisitions to support the company’s growth, explore strategic partnerships and new markets, and use technology so the lender’s operations become fully digitized.

Credit: African Business Central