NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – Barclays Bank of Kenya has announced that it has started changing the look and feel of its branches ahead of the full transition to the Absa brand next year.
This is in line with the decision by Barclays Plc to reduce its shareholding in the Africa business in March 2016 and consequently the announcement to rebrand the bank’s operations to Absa across the continent.
The bank said it has already adopted the new brand colours in 15 branches, including a new modernised branch at Sarit Centre, with the plan to conclude at least half of the branches by end of the year.
“Given the significant size of the task ahead, we got regulatory approval to start introducing Absa’s warm, vibrant red colour palette on some of our assets, including bank branches and ATMs to ensure we are fully ready by the time our legal name changes in the next few months,” Caroline Ndung’u, Marketing and Corporate Relations Director, said.
However, even though some branches will start to look like Absa, the bank will continue to operate and be known as Barclays Bank Kenya until the process is officially concluded, with several legal and regulatory milestones to achieve before the final changeover. The bank has until June 2020 to rebrand to Absa in Kenya.
Ndungu said that the transition programme is ahead of schedule, at 85 percent completion. By September, the bank had invested up to Sh910 million into the separation programme.
“We are investing significantly in digitization and automation of our processes and systems to make banking easier and faster for our customers. Over the last few months, we have successfully migrated key technology systems that were previously hosted in Barclays UK and in most cases, upgraded to more advanced systems which will ultimately help enhance the service experience,” said Ndung’u.
The bank’s services to customers will continue as before throughout the rebrand period with no additional information being required to transact with the bank. Additionally, all bank records will remain the same before and after the transition.
“For us, this is not just a change of name. It has been a chance to reflect on our business and identify new opportunities that we can invest in to deliver more value for all our stakeholders. We have taken a hard look at our propositions and spent a lot of time speaking to our customers about how we can best partner with them to support mutual growth. As a result, we are repurposing our propositions and developing new solutions that are tailor-made for our customers’ needs,” she added.
In the run up to the official changeover, the bank has been engaging its stakeholders through various activities and marketing campaigns with the aim of familiarizing them with the new brand.
The name change in Kenya is part of one of the largest rebranding projects in Africa and part of a broader, multi-country rebrand programme happening at Absa Group Limited-level, scheduled to be completed by mid-2020.