Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) shareholders have approved the planned change of name to Absa over the next two years.
Approval of the name change during the bank’s 50th Annual General Meeting in Nairobi yesterday set in motion one of the biggest rebranding projects in Kenya’s country’s financial services sector.
“The approval by our shareholders marks a key milestone in our separation from Barclays Plc and our transition into an independent Africa bank with a global reach,” said Charles Muchene, Barclays Bank of Kenya chairman.
“At Barclays Kenya, it is an exciting opportunity for us to build on our rich legacy and create a truly Kenyan business with renewed commitment to bring to life,” he added.
The approval comes just a week after shareholders of the parent company Barclays Africa Group Ltd gave the go-ahead for the group to change its name from Barclays Africa to Absa Group in July this year.
Following the shareholder’s approval, Barclays Kenya has until June 2020 to unveil its new brand in the market, subject to regulatory approval.
This is in line with the separation agreement between Barclays Plc and Barclay Africa Group Ltd which allows the use of the Barclays brand in the market until 2020.
Barclays Bank Kenya Managing director Jeremy Awori said the process will be carefully managed and aligned with all shareholder and regulatory requirements to ensure it is a seamless transition for all shareholders.
“Our new identity will bring with it a heightened level of customer-obsession, a determination to be more digitally-led and take advantage of the opportunities that the market present,” he said.
Awori said the bank will now embark of the digitalisation process as a way to cut cost and bring more value to its shareholders, adding since they started they have been able to increase their alternative channels by 20 percentage point.
He said the majority of banking institutions are today going offline around paperwork and fax machines by adopting digitalisation to transform client interactions.
“The automated processes cut the operational costs by 15 to 30 per cent while offering a more streamlined experience for the customer,” Awori added.
“The industry is evolving, experiencing a shift from products to the customer, from channel to access, and from physical to digital.”