Absa Bank launches with commitment to support economic growth

Abena Osei-Poku - MD, Barclays Bank Ghana Limited

Absa Bank Ghana Limited has officially been launched after receiving all required regulatory approvals from the Bank of Ghana. The bank, which hitherto was called Barclays Bank Ghana, is now a full subsidiary of Absa Group Limited, a South African based financial institution.

The name change marks the start of a new era for the bank’s operations as a forward-looking African bank with global reach. “Today, we begin a new chapter as Absa Bank Ghana Limited, while we retain our 100-year heritage of indelible commitment to Ghana’s economic growth.

Our new brand demonstrates our commitment to building a bank that is centred on growth for our people through the provision of financial resources, services and opportunities that connect their dreams to possibilities,” said Abena Osei-Poku, Managing Director of Absa Bank Ghana Limited.

Mrs. Osei-Poku was speaking at the official launch ceremony, which came off in Accra, and had the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia; Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison and his two deputies and other officials of the Central Bank; heads of other banking institutions, customers of the bank, and other stakeholders in attendance.

The bank, which has been the most profitable in the industry for the past three years, is a major financier and contributor to key sectors of the Ghanaian economy, including agriculture, education, health, industry and infrastructure among others. Under the Absa brand, the bank has reiterated its commitment to remain a significant player in the financial services sector and the country’s economic development.

“As one of Africa’s top three largest banks, backed by a large capital base and balance sheet, we will continue to play a leading role in Ghana’s development agenda while we remain focused on serving Ghanaians with quality groundbreaking financial services and safe investments for their hard-earned money. Our destiny is tied to that of our country and our commitment to Ghana is absolute,” said Mrs. Osei-Poku.

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The bank’s leadership assured that the change to Absa will not cause any change in customers account details and the bank’s branches will continue to operate as usual.

“Barclays branded cards will continue to work as normal until their date of expiry. Customers can also continue to use their Barclays chequebooks until 10 August 2020, after which only cheques drawn on an Absa chequebook will be accepted.

“When we started this journey over 3 years ago, we took time to seek insights from our clients and stakeholders. We took to heart what they told us and set out to build a bank that partners them in innovative ways to bring meaning to their lives. Ghanaians can look forward to stronger partnerships that drive sustainable growth and a brighter future for all,” Mrs. Osei-Poku reiterated.

Daniel Mminele, Group CEO of Absa Group, in his speech noted that the name change journey began in 2016 and now the bank here joins others on the continent to operate under one name and now begins the commitment to Africa’s growth and development with the tagline ‘One brand, one purpose, one vision, and endless possibilities’.

Backed by an asset base of more than US$90billion, Absa, he said, seeks to contribute to Ghana and Africa’s economic transformation. “Our commitment includes investing in initiatives that support financial inclusion for African citizens, financing African exporters through trade finance, contributing to infrastructure financing initiatives and general advisory services to both the private and public sectors.

Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Central Bank, noted that as a regulator, the Bank of Ghana has worked closely with Barclays Bank and its officials to ensure that every aspect of the transition plan are aligned with the central bank’s overarching goal of financial stability.

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He added that the history of banking in Ghana would be incomplete if special mention is not made of the contribution of Barclays to Ghana’s banking system and economic development more broadly.

“Although the brand Barclays has now been phased out of Ghana’s banking system, it has over the decades left a significant footprint that includes a strong corporate culture, strong corporate governance, the provision of quality financial services, skilled manpower, and investments in technology driving cutting-edge solutions to the ever-growing complex needs of the industry.

“Absa’s leadership in the African financial markets landscape is not disputed at all. For example, Absa has single-handedly supported the creation of an Africa-wide Absa Africa Financial Markets Index.

As Absa Ghana aspires to become a forward-looking digitally-led bank, the Bank of Ghana is counting on you to contribute to the development of digital solutions that make banking more convenient, while providing more avenues to make financial services more accessible to the unbanked,” he added.

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, noted that before independence in 1957, Barclays was here and from the Gold Coast to Ghana, the brand has been here and now with Absa is looking towards new possibilities.

“The bank has made a significant contribution to the economic growth of Ghana and continue to play a leading role in developing the foundation of the financial and banking sector by providing solutions to complex financial deals for successive governments and corporates as well as innovative services to drive financial innovation and inclusion.”

He lauded the bank for its role in cocoa syndication loans and other loans that have generated funds for key government projects to serve Ghanaians.

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