Barclays Kenya is on course to transition to Absa by June 2020. Absa is a leading well-capitalized African banking conglomerate with presence in 12 markets. The transition will help Barclays Kenya tap into Absa Group’s extensive footprint to unlock more value for its shareholders, customers and all other stakeholders. Absa group’s market capitalization on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is about KES 1 trillion which is equivalent to 30 times the cash that was used to build Thika Road.
Absa has approximately KES 9 trillion worth of assets, more than 2 times the Kenyan banking sector assets as of 2017. This is also about 3 times the Kenyan annual budget for 2019/20. The banking group has over 1,000 branches, nearly 10,000 ATMs and over 40,000 employees. This puts the Absa group among the top biggest banking sector brands across the continent.
“Our transition journey to Absa has now gained momentum and is about 65% complete. We are making significant investments in technology, branch modernisation and branding, which will ultimately enable us to give our customers a better banking experience,” Barclays Kenya Managing Director, Jeremy Awori, said.
In the first half of 2019, Barclays Kenya recorded a strong financial performance, a testament that the business is growing and delivering value for its shareholders. Customer numbers have now crossed 4 million, thanks to Timiza, the bank’s virtual banking wallet. Operating income grew by 13%, the fastest growth in 7 years. Non funded income was up 13%, the fastest in 4 years. Removing the branding costs, the bank’s return on equity stood at 20% which is above the industry average.
As part of the transition, the bank has invested over KES 561 million in the first half of 2019 in key projects including technology upgrades, branch modernisation and brand initiatives. The bank is confident that its investments in new services and digitization of its operations will make banking easier, faster and convenient for its customers.
The bank is committed to the young people in Kenya and continues to unleash their future possibilities through the Readytowork programme. So far this programme has impacted over 215,000 youth.
According to the African Leadership University, an entrepreneurial leader is a leader who solves problems in creative and innovative ways with limited resources. Barclays Kenya, soon to become Absa, is empowering young leaders to use limited resource to achieve more. It has offered 540 scholarships to the youth.