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ABSA bank unveils new symbol at NSE, set to start trading

The newly rebranded bank has also kicked off trading activities at the Nairobi Securities exchange under the new name, following a go ahead by the Capital Markets Authority/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya  Feb 20 – Absa Bank Kenya has officially unveiled its new ticker symbol at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) Wednesday, signaling its final transitioning from Barclays Bank of Kenya; the lender will trade as Absa Group Plc at the bourse.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has challenged the revamped bank to rise above the challenges experienced in the banking sector.

The regulator said that most lenders have been insensitive to the needs of Kenyans through high cost of credit, opaqueness and poor customer service.

 In a statement, CBK urged the bank to be more focused and fair on their customers and be more responsible in pricing as it strives to be transparent and ethical.

“The true affirmation of ABSA Kenya’s transformation can only come from the changed lives of its customers through shared growth and prosperity of a broader segment of Kenya’s populace,” part of the statement issued noted.

During the formal rebranding at the NSE headquarters, the lender’s chairman Charles Muchene said that the bank will now be able to focus on financing development in Africa.

Two weeks ago, the bank said it had finalised all the necessary regulatory approvals, for the name change that was prompted a year and a half ago after Absa Group bought a controlling stake at the bank’s parent company’s Barclays Africa.

While unveiling a new symbol at NSE headquarters, the bank’s Managing Director Jeremy Awori announced the re-launch of new SME propositions including unsecured loans of up to Sh 10 million and LPO financing and discounting of up to Sh15 million.

He said that the lender had been granted Asset Management Licence by Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and it will be working with NSE to launch new investment products that customers can use as an alternative to their products.

“Expect to see new energy, vibrancy, we have talked to our customers and have listened to their needs. Our customers can expect to experience a more forward-looking, digitally led bank,” Awori said.

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According to Awori, Absa Kenya will soon be launching absa chart board, a visual assistant that allows customers to get answers to frequently questions.

“We will soon be launching my SME toolkit, which allows SMEs owners to perform cash flow management and planning,” he added.

Awori also said that the Bank is working with the Government to create 10,000 internships programs to young Kenyans.

 “We are building on a rich heritage, we have a strong commitment to young people, Over the last years, we have worked with Ready To Work program and empowered 160,000 and provided 2500 opportunities and placement,” he said.

During the launch, the lender also announced that it had upgraded ABSA mobile platform to include features like facial recognition and fingerprint which can enable customers can use to gain access to their accounts.

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