Barclays Bank Zambia managing director Mizinga Melu says the bank is expected to complete the transition from Barclays to Absa by June 2020.
And Melu has allayed fears that the bank will close down, saying Barclays will still be a minority shareholder in the business.
Meanwhile, Melu assured that the transition would not result in any job losses.
Speaking during a media breakfast, Wednesday, Melu explained that the transition would soon be apparent as 3 rebranded Absa branches were expected to be commissioned this month.
“Because Barclays is now a minority shareholder, we cannot continue to use the Barclays brand. So we have now agreed that we are going to use the Absa brand. We have seen that we have been dropping on the market, on our billboards but what we are doing today is to announce that from Monday, our first Absa branch will be launched. So Monday is a historic event and we would like the key stakeholders to be aware as we have been saying, we want to carry our customers along we want to carry our staff along and just all our key stakeholders. This will be one of many; however, the first three Absa branches will all be unveiled in the month of October. So in summary, we are changing to Absa and the journey has began and we have to do that systematically between now and the end of June next year because that’s the last time we will now be using the name Barclays,” Melu said.
Melu it was good that Barclays had not experienced any resistance from customers.
“Our customers have been extremely supportive because they understand this is just a change in the shareholders and they have also seen the improvements that we are doing to our branches. So we haven’t seen any resistance from our customers. So this is a partnership and we give the message out there and this is what we continue to do,” she said.
“And the final thing is we have now also started the construction of the head office, we are spending about US$25 million on this project and the head office is just a testament that we are not going anywhere as Absa, we want to start the journey with a new head office and that’s what we are doing. So we are really putting a lot of substantial investment in this transition and please walk with us because it’s going to be rather exciting.”
Meanwhile, Melu assured that there would be no job losses.
“Just to confirm that nobody is going to lose their job as a result of this transformation and we have assured our employees that and as a result of the change from Barclays to Absa, no one is going to lose their jobs,” assured Melu.
Meanwhile, bank treasurer Boston Kiname boasted that the bank’s balance sheet had continued to grow despite the prevailing economic challenges.
“If you look at our deposit base to date, I think from the published financials so far, you will realize that our deposits actually have grown from where they were in December last year to the end of June which is the information which is in the public domain, we have so far grown our deposits by 4 per cent,” said Kiname.