Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, on Monday, officially changed its name to ‘Absa Bank Ghana Limited’, a name of the global brand ‘Absa Group Limited’ to clearly represent its global vision and mission to serve customers better.
The Absa Bank, launched by the Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, combines strong expertise, deep local insight and vast product knowledge to bring the best of banking to customers and clients.
It offers an integrated set of products and services including corporate and investment banking, business banking with solutions for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), and a three-tier personal banking proposition – personal, prestige and premier banking.
Mr Daniel Mminele, the Chief Executive Officer, Absa Group Limited, said the change of name allowed the bank to operate under one name in all its markets, with a clear commitment to Africa’s growth and development with one brand, purpose, vision and endless possibilities.
Backed by the bank’s asset base of more than $90 billion, he said, the bank sought to contribute to Ghana and Africa’s economic transformation with commitments such as investing in initiatives that supported financial inclusion for African citizens, and financing African exporters through trade finance.
Others were to contribute to infrastructure financing initiatives and general advisory services to both the private and public sector.
Mr Mminele gave an assurance that the bank’s strategic initiatives would continue to contribute to unlocking the country’s potential by supporting and investing in crucial development sectors in the national economy, such as trade, industry, agribusiness, energy and by supporting SMEs.
The selection of Ghana as the host nation for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat, he said, affirmed that Ghana was not only one of the anchor economies in West Africa, but had a potential to act as the ‘engine of Africa’s integration.’
The AfCFTA, he believed, had the prospect to change Africa’s economic landscape and enhance efficiency gains and productivity improvements such as higher intra-Africa trade when successfully implemented.
Dr Ernest Addison, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), said the public expected Absa to carry along the level of excellence, leadership, and professionalism that had become synonymous with the 100-year Barclays heritage in Ghana.
As Absa Ghana aspired to become a forward-looking digitally-led bank, he said the BoG was counting on them to contribute to the development of digital solutions that made banking more convenient, while providing more avenues to make financial services more accessible to the unbanked.
He commended the bank for exhibiting strong performance even during the critical time of transition, saying, it was one of the first banks to meet the new minimal capital requirements through internally-generated funds.
Dr Addison said the bank’s total assets more than doubled from GH¢5.3 billion at the end of December 2016 to GH¢11.7 billion at the end of December 2019, while its Capital Advocacy Ratio of 10.6 per cent improved significantly to 16.5 per cent.
The bank’s Non-performing Loans ratio of 19.2 per cent also improved to 6.6 per cent over the review period, an indication of sound credit administration practices.
Speaking about the BoG’s preparedness to promote growth in the financial sector, Dr Addison said: “Let me reiterate that as regulators, we will continue to commit our resources towards ensuring that financial institutions improve their internal controls and risk management systems since the safety and soundness of institutions pivots on these principles.”
Mrs Abena Osei-Poku, the Managing Director of Absa Bank Ghana Limited, said the bank would continue to play a leading role in Ghana’s development agenda while remaining 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,” she added.
She said the bank sought insights from clients and stakeholders when it started the journey to transition and took to heart the feedback they got to build a financial institution that partnered them in innovative ways to bring meaning in their lives.
“Ghanaians can look forward to stronger partnerships that drive sustainable growth and a brighter future for all,” Mrs Osei-Poku said.