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VENTURES AFRICA – JSE-listed lender, Barclays Africa Group, on Monday said its struggling retail and business banking (RBB) unit is already spotting initial signs of customer and balance sheet growth as the firm’s strategy to regain market share begins to pay off.
“RBB is set to deliver a good set of pan–African results. I am confident about our progress on the journey towards making Retail and Business Banking the ‘Go-To’ bank on the African continent,” the head of RBB at Barclays Africa Group, Craig Bond, said.
Absa had been South Africa’s leading retail bank for many years up until the lower end of the market was entered by the likes of Capitec, African Bank, Standard Bank, FirstRand and Nedbank, forcing Absa’s retail unit to lose some market share.
Barclays Africa listed on the Johannesburg bourse in August this year after Absa acquired African assets of parent company, Barclays, for R18.3 billion ($1.8bn) this year.
“We have spent significant time on a detailed analysis of how we lost market share. We have developed and are executing on a comprehensive transformation plan to regain customer and client dominance in key markets,” Bond continued.
Barclays Africa has over 10 000 teller machines and 1,300 branches throughout 10 African countries.
In July this year, Barclays Africa pledged to inject R1.2 billion ($117.4m) to remodel its ATM and branch outlets and digital channels.
Indications that the firm’s new operational strategy is taking hold include Absa’s recognition two weeks ago for its customer “dispute resolution.” It got this recognition at the South African Banking Ombudsman’s Best Bank Awards.
Additionally, Dashboard and World Wide Worx recognized Absa’s CashSend as South Africa’s most well-known mobile money system.
“We… have a credible and clearly articulated plan for continual growth to build a world class bank and become customers’ go-to choice to help them prosper,” Bond concluded.