Absa revenue slightly up, Ramos optimistic after Barclays exit

Absa raised revenue by 3% to R37-billion in the first half of the year, with CEO Maria Ramos saying the banking group was now free to set its own risk appetite following its separation from Barclays.

Last month, the bank rebranded itself after the British bank sold down the controlling stake it bought in 2005.

According to Absa, growth in retail and business banking in South Africa boosted earnings, as well as wealth, investment management and insurance divisions.

However, cost-to-income ratio dipped to 56.2% from 55.5% during the same period last year, while operating expenses increased 4% to R20.8-billion.

“An important milestone in positioning for delivery against our strategy was achieving full regulatory deconsolidation, which means that UK regulators no longer regard Absa and Barclays PLC as a single entity,” said Ramos.


“In practical terms, it means that we no longer operate under any policy frameworks set by Barclays PLC. For example, we are now free to set our own risk appetite.”

READ MORE: Is Absa’s new coat of paint enough?

In 2005, Barclays acquired a 50.1% stake in Absa, the British giant has now reduced its stake to 14.9%.

Absa says it has a balance sheet of R1.2-trillion, and “strong capital and liquidity levels”, with plans to embark on a growth path to double its share of banking revenues in the continent to 12%.

On the home front, the bank has reshaped its retail and business banking, and reduced management headcount to enable faster decision making.

The retail and business banking unit accounts for more than half of Absa’s total income.

Ramos said new home loans, one of the areas the bank has been targeting for growth, increased by 14% in the first half, against the market growth of 4%.

The bank increased dividend by 3% to R4.90 per share.

The lender operates in 12 countries in Africa and has recently launched WhatsApp banking in South Africa in a bid to boost its retail business. — Fin 24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC’s rotten apples on the chopping block

Now that the NEC has finalised its step-aside guidelines for those facing corruption charges, a swathe of officials will struggle to cling to their positions

Sisulu and Dlodlo punted to be on their way out

Because President Cyril Ramaphosa won the step-aside order in the ANC’s national executive committee, a cabinet reshuffle looms, with Sisulu and Dlodlo’s names on comrades’ lips

More top stories

Analysts expecting another attack ‘in the next few months’ in...

The extremist insurgency in Mozambique has been an ongoing threat since 2017. SADC needs to act now, say analysts

SIU probes how master of the high court fleeces the...

While the SIU delves into dozens of allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct against officials at the master of the high court, many families have been left destitute after the death of their loved ones.

Barred neonatal visits hurt infants

Some nurses chose to ignore the no-visit rule, and now the health department has allowed mothers to feed their premature infants

SA will miss UN’s clean water targets

Mismanagement, pollution and a water deficit exacerbated by climate change are to blame
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…