The Barclays Bank of Kenya on Thursday announced that it is on the right track for the transition process to ABSA brand across the continent.
Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA) name change in Kenya is part of one of the largest rebranding projects in Africa and part of a broader, multi-country rebrand program happening at Absa Group Limited-level, scheduled to be completed by mid-2020.
Addressing the media in Nairobi, the Marketing and Corporation Relation Director, Ms. Caroline Ndung’u said that the transition process started in March 2016 when the bank decided to reduce its shareholdings in Africa business.
“The bank has already adopted the new brand colors in 15 branches including a new modernized branch at Sarit centre with the plan to conclude at least half of the branches by the end of the year,” said Ms. Ndung’u.
She added that they have been permitted to continue with the process after following legal procedure from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), these includes company registration and Trade mark.
“Given the significant size of the task ahead, we got regulatory approval to start introducing Absa’s vibrant red color palette on some of our assets, including bank branches and ATMs to ensure we are fully ready by the time our legal name changes in the next few months,” said Ms. Ndung’u.
However, she noted that even though some branches will start to look like Absa, the bank will continue to operate and be known as Barclays Bank Kenya until the process is officially concluded as it still holds the biggest share in Absa with 14.9 percent.
“For us, this is not just a change of name. It has been a chance to reflect on our business and identify new opportunities that we can invest in to deliver more value for all our stakeholders. We have taken a hard look at our propositions and spent a lot of time speaking to our customers about how we can best partner with them to support mutual growth. As a result, we are repurposing our propositions and developing new solutions that are tailor-made for our customers’ needs,” she added.
Ms. Ndung’u assured their customers that the transition programme is ahead of schedule, at 85 percent completion. She said that by September 2019, the bank had invested up to Sh910 million into the separation programme.
The Bank’s Regional Treasurer, Tony Mulisa said that they had invested a lot in technology to improve their services to their customers.
“We are investing significantly in digitization and automation of our processes and systems to make banking easier and faster for our customers,” said Mr. Mulisa.
Mulisa further added that over the last few months, they have successfully migrated key technology systems that were previously hosted in Barclays UK and in most cases, upgraded to more advanced systems which will ultimately help enhance the service experience.
“Bank service will continue uninterruptedly throughout the rebranding period with no additional information being required to transact, with the bank records remaining intact,” added Mulisa.
Mulisa said the bank has been engaging its stakeholders through various activities and marketing campaigns with the aim of familiarizing them with the new brand.
By Isaac Wafula/Collins Juma