Absa Group Limited (Absa or the Group), listed on the JSE Limited is one of South Africa's largest financial services groups. Absa is a subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC (Barclays), which owns 55,5%. We offer a complete range of retail, business, corporate and investment banking, insurance and wealth management products and services. The Group's business is conducted primarily in South Africa. It also has equity holdings in banks in Mozambique and Tanzania, representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria and bancassurance operations in Botswana and Mozambique.
At 31 December 2012, the Group had 718,2 million shares in issue and a market capitalisation of R117,79 billion. The Group had assets of R807,9 billion, 10,9 million customers, 9 929 automated teller machines and 33 717 permanent employees.
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail and commercial banking, credit cards, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services with an extensive international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia.
|1991||Formation of Amalgamated Banks of South Africa Limited (Absa) through the merger of UBS Holdings, the Allied and Volkskas Groups, and certain interests of the Sage Group.|
|1992||Absa acquires the entire shareholding of the Bankorp Group (which included TrustBank, Senbank and Bankfin), thereby extending its asset base even further.|
|1997||The name of the holding company, Amalgamated Banks of South Africa Limited is changed to Absa Group Limited, consisting of three main operating divisions.|
|1998||The United, Volkskas, Allied and TrustBank brands are consolidated into a single brand, and Absa adopts a new corporate identity.|
|2005||Barclays acquires a majority stake in Absa as part of its drive to expand its global product and international retail and commercial banking businesses in markets outside the UK.|
- We respect and value those we work with, and the contribution that they make
- We act fairly, ethically and openly in all we do
- We put our clients and customers at the centre of what we do
- We use our energy, skills and resources to deliver the best, sustainable results
- We are passionate about leaving things better than we found them.
“One Absa” - strategic objectives and performance measures sustainable growth in targeted markets -
What our goal is:
- To become the number one bank in South Africa and selected African countries in terms of profitability and return on equity
How we will achieve this:
- Absa Group seeks to identify opportunities to grow value and to enter new markets
- Through a deep understanding of customers’ needs, and working together across business clusters
- Meeting all the financial needs of the Group’s customers is critical to success
Balance sheet optimisation and proactive risk management -
- To have a strong and shock-resilient balance sheet and to proactively manage risks
- Balancing risk and reward, while ensuring the optimisation of liquidity and capital management by utilising capital where Absa realises the best returns
- Absa continuously endeavours to mitigate all the major risks facing the Group in a prudent manner
Simple, streamlined Group for customer delivery -
- To establish a “One Absa” mindset in order to improve integration, generate efficiencies and focus on delivery to customers
- The spotlight is on ensuring that Absa’s operating model, systems and processes are streamlined and simplified, and that the Group builds its processes with the customer’s experience in mind
- It also means reducing costs by driving efficiencies and capturing opportunities across business sectors
Customer- and people-centred organisation -
- Great customer service delivered by talented, motivated people
- The Group seeks to have a customer-centred mindset in everything it does to deliver a consistent customer service experience and to demonstrate professionalism and integrity in serving its customers
- Absa has and continuously employs talented, energised and passionate people to make this happen
- The Group strives to create an enabling environment for its employees to provide leading-edge service to its customers
Absa is committed to creating value for all our stakeholders:
Delivering sustainable earnings growth
Empowering customers by enhancing access to financial services, increasing choice and fostering their financial education
Ensuring that employees are highly capable, empowered and motivated
- The Community
Helping to empower and uplift the communities in which Absa operates
- Government and Regulators
Supporting government and regulatory policies in the economic and financial dimensions in proactive and positive ways
Origins of the Absa Brand
In 1998 a strategic decision was made to unify and reinvent the Absa brand. The complexity of multiple brands with overlapping target markets made no sense. Hence, Absa decided to adopt a single brand and provide an array of financial services; a one-stop shop offering simple, uncomplicated banking relationships, value for money, stability, convenience and superior customer service.
The key challenge was for Absa to stay relevant, and for the group to become the brand. The focus shifted to creating a new corporate identity for the Absa Group that would unite retail banking services, (financial services, properties and securities, coupled with the brand merger of four individual retail banks) creating an Absa brand that would seamlessly and effectively be accepted by a broad spectrum of customers, as well as employees.
A New Identity
Through the development of the new Absa visual identity, emphasis was placed on the first letter, ‘A’ which is also synonymous with the first letter of the Roman alphabet, the ‘Alpha’, symbolising the ‘beginning’.
Logo development is crucial and is the most frequently used visual association of an organisation. An important consideration of this development is the colour choice, as it is a crucial differentiating factor between the four main competitors and has important psychological relevance.
Colour establishes a brand quickly and easily. The colour red is associated with excitement and energy, a great choice for the Absa brand. The vibrant red used gives Absa a modern feel that stands out from our competitors.
The strategic focus of the design was the depiction of ‘union; fusion and wholeness’; attributes that the brand stands for today. Adding to this focus was the need to position Absa as a leading financial services institution with a contemporary feel, and differentiating the brand as being superior to those that came before.
Today, Absa is a household name, and amongst the many accolades was rated as the No. 1 Banking Brand again this year, and Coolest Banking Brand in SA for the 6th consecutive year.