19 February 2020
Absa Bank Kenya PLC has today marked the official launch of the Absa ticker at the Nairobi Securities Exchange, marking the successful conclusion of the brand transition programme.
The change of name follows a 2018 decision by the parent company, Absa Group Limited, to rebrand all its operations across the continent to Absa. This followed a decision by Barclays Plc to reduce its majority shareholding in Barclays Africa Group (the former parent company) to 14.9% and the subsequent renaming of Barclays Africa Group to Absa Group Limited.
Speaking during the bell-ringing event at the NSE, Absa Bank Kenya chairman of the board Mr. Charles Muchene reassured minority shareholders that the shareholding structure will not be affected in any way even with the change of name.
“I would like to assure all our shareholders that their investment in our business is sound and they can look forward to even better returns as we continue to execute our strategy. We are excited about what the future holds and the chance to continue working work with the people of Kenya to achieve shared success and bring new possibilities to life.”
The event was also graced by the Absa Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. Daniel Mminele as well as the Group’s Deputy CEO Mr. Peter Matlare and various representatives from the NSE, the Capital Markets Authority, the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation and a host of other capital markets stakeholders.
On his part, Mr. Mminele reassured of the group's long-term commitment to Kenya noting that the group will continue to invest and to grow in this market.
“I want to convey my thanks to the Kenyan people and to our customers and clients for the warm reception we have continued to experience since the brand name change was announced early in 2018. It was after extensive consultations across the continent that the Absa Board took a decision to operate under the Absa brand across the continent,” he explained.
Absa Bank Kenya PLC Managing Director Jeremy Awori said the organisation has a solid strategy in place which is designed to deliver growth for the business by growing with its customers.
“As I look into the future, I am filled with excitement and optimism. We will continue to execute this strategy in order to deliver great returns for our shareholders and play our rightful role in the Kenyan economy,” said Mr. Awori.
Reiterating their remarks, the Nairobi Securities Exchange Chief Executive, Mr. Geoffrey Odundo exuded confidence in the growth prospects and potential for enhanced returns for Absa Bank Kenya PLC following the transition. “ I am delighted that the change offers investors an opportunity to be part of a leading financial services Group with a deep understanding of the continents' financial needs, an extensive reach and a wide country footprint."
"The NSE is delighted to have ABSA Kenya Plc as one of our actively traded listed companies, and look forward to being part of their growth journey as they use the capital markets to deliver on their strategy," Mr. Odundo said.
Absa Bank Kenya PLC new strategy is designed to deliver a customer obsessed, digitally-led financial partner that is a Force for Good in the community.
Mr Awori said:
As we enter a new era, you can expect to see the energy and the vibrancy of the new Absa brand taking us to new levels. Our customers can expect to experience a more forward-looking, digitally led bank that is committed to offering world class service with a human touch..
In order to get it right, as we executed this transition over the last four years, we have spent a lot of time speaking to our customers across all segments to better understand, not just their needs but also tastes and preferences. We have been with the traders in Gikomba market; we have been to Nakuru, Kiambu, Kisumu, Mombasa among other places and had very candid conversations with our customers to understand exactly what they expect from their financial partner.
We took to heart what they told us, and have redefined most of our existing propositions and developed new products that will drive mutual growth. For instance, we have:
- Revamped our Wezesha SME proposition to include unsecured loans of up to KES10 million; LPO financing and invoice discounting of up to Kes50 million. In the next few days, we will be telling you more about our efforts towards empowering SMEs which are the main driver of our economy.
- Launched Kenya’s first vertical credit and debit cards which offer customers increased convenience and a wide range of benefits including cashback rewards and discounts across over 1000 shopping outlets.
- Redefined our mortgage offering to include 100% financing, offering the lowest interest rate in the market at 11.75%, and a waiver on all legal fees for customers transferring their mortgages to Absa.
- Expanded our Timiza product to encourage a savings culture with returns of up to 5% interest, the best in the market.
- We are investing significantly on digitization and automation of our processes and systems to make banking easier and faster for our customers:
- We are introducing the Absa ChatBot, a virtual assistant that allows customers get answers to their frequently asked banking questions via WhatsApp.
- We shall soon launch the MySME Tool that allows SMEs owners perform important functions like planning and cash flow management online.
- We upgraded the Absa Mobile Banking app to give customers more convenience by using fingerprints or facial recognition to unlock and gain access to a wide range of transactions.
The bank recognised and appreciated the support of the Central Bank of Kenya, Capital Markets Authority and the NSE among other stakeholders throughout the transition.
For more information, please contact Charles Wokabi on 0725809375 or at Charles.Wokabi@absa.africa