Absa falls in line with Barclays structure

Absa Group, the South African bank majority owned by British lender Barclays, said it would merge its business and retail banking units and has also created a small team of Barclays and Absa executives to lead its expansion across the continent.

The merger of the retail and business units follows a similar move by Barclays this year, when it reshuffled its own structure.

The unified platform of retail and business banking could help Absa cross-sell more products, said Patrice Rassou, head of equities at Sanlam Investment Management.

“I do think there is potential to better service [customers] by having a unified management team. I see more upside than downside,” he said.

“The Africa board announcement is interesting. The way I read that, Barclays are relying increasingly on Absa to drive the African strategy.”

Absa in April announced a strategy to work more closely with Barclays in sub-Saharan countries outside South Africa.

The British lender has operations in nine African countries outside South Africa and is moving its headquarters for the continent back to Johannesburg from Dubai after buying a 56.4% stake in Absa in 2005.

South Africa’s largest retail lender, like its rivals, wants to expand into the continent’s other fast-growing markets and Absa’s chief executive Maria Ramos told Reuters in March the bank might consider a return to oil-rich Angola.

Absa’s retail unit posted a 75% jump in headline earnings in the six months to end-June, helped by sharply lower impairments, or bad-debt charges, but warned a repeat performance in the second half was unlikely.

Absa said the new merged retail and business units would be led by Bobby Malabie, the former head of business banking.

Gavin Opperman, who previously led the retail unit, will leave the bank in November.

Absa shares are up 0.2% at R135.01 at 14.10pm, and down 3.5% so far this year. — Reuters

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Links between colleges, industry vital

Weak partnerships with industry and poor curriculum choices are among the factors driving unemployment among graduates

‘South Africa on a path to unjust transition’

The country needs a greener economy but energy specialists say policymakers must ensure the creation of a fairer economy in the process

Whistleblower helps SIU in diamonds corruption raid

The SIU alleges fraud and graft in state mining company's procurement

SA Mint launches rhino coin

The coins are produced in limited quantities ranging from 500 to 2 000, depending on the demand
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×