Barclays Bank (Seychelles) Ltd officially becomes Absa Bank (Seychelles) Ltd | 11 February 2020
‘The end of an era and the beginning of a bright future’
Yesterday marked the first trading day of Absa Bank (Seychelles) Limited, leaving behind the sixty-year legacy of Barclays Bank. The name change marks the start of a new era for the bank’s operations, one that sees the realisation of an ambition to become an independent African bank.
To mark this special occasion a lighting ceremony of Absa avenue was held yesterday evening at the Absa headquarters at the Capital City building in the presence of President Danny Faure; the managing director of Absa Bank (Seychelles) Johan Van Schalkwyk; the deputy CEO of Absa group limited, Peter Matlare; the Governor of Central Bank Seychelles, Caroline Abel; among other distinguished guests.
“Today was the first day that we officially started trading as Absa bank, a journey of this magnitude does not happen by itself, there has been an enormous amount of work that has been put into this new change,” said Mr Van Schalkwyk.
He said that the bank would remain a significant player in the banking and financial services sector in Seychelles and a contributor to Seychelles’ economy.
“To deliver this journey it requires the involvement of the people, our colleagues our clients and our stakeholders,” he said.
In his address, the managing director extended his heartfelt thanks to the Governor of Central Bank, Ms Abel, for her support and counsel as it had been absolutely invaluable.
“A journey like this is impossible if our colleagues do not buy into our vision of becoming an independent pan African bank that we believe will become admired by the continent and empowered by professional employees and staff to serve our customers going forward,” said Mr Van Schalkwyk.
He added that the bank has increased the headcount of staff from 182 in 2015 to 275 in order to provide a better service.
“We would have absolutely no business if it wasn’t for our loyal customers who have supported us during the sixty years as Barclay Bank and who have believed in us to accompany us in the Absa journey,” remarked the managing director.
He ended by saying that this is a celebration of a great brand on the continent that get things done and make sure that the legacy the bank leaves behind will be a legacy of a better organisation that took banking to a new level.
Speaking on behalf of the Absa group, Peter Matlare noted that Seychelles is an important link in creating a pan African brand that will change and bring new opportunities.
“We must never forget our heritage, sixty years ago when Barclays came to Seychelles seeds were put into the ground, so as we change today we must give homage to Barclays for having moulded an incredible brand and business and our commitment as the Absa group is to build on that legacy and invest in Seychelles,” said Mr Matlare.
On her part, Ms Abel noted that it is an honour to witness the transition from Barclays Bank limited to Absa Bank limited.
“Barclays has been very much a household name, having had a presence in Seychelles for the past six decades and have built a broad customer base proving reliability and trust. It is indeed trust in our system and ability to meet our customers’ needs that contribute to our financial stability,” said the governor.
She added that Absa is a trusted brand present in twelve African countries all having fast growing economies. She further added that CBS looks forward to the opportunities that the Absa brand can bring and the value that it can potentially add to the local financial market.
“I want to seize this opportunity to emphasise to all the banks and the banking brands represented locally the need to improve on the depth of our financial market, the central brand can only go so far to increase transparency, the banks need to do their part in abiding by the requirements of the regulations but to also invigorate the banking sector through the provision of innovative products and services for their customers as well as developing an active interbank market,” she concluded.
Speaking to the press following the lighting ceremony, the chairman of Absa Bank (Seychelles) limited, Jean Weeling Lee, noted that the next step is to fulfil the promises that they had made to their customers by changing the brand terms of what the bank delivers.
“The next step is to roll out some new propositions in terms of digital offerings at the same time offering more products on the market where there is a big demand,” said the chairman.
He added that as customers speak to their personal bankers they will see their new products.
“We are going to change what we offer as a service proposition, when things go wrong we want the customers to see that we care for them and are engaged in finding a solution and do so as fast as possible,” remarked Mr Weeling Lee.
He further added that the staff have received a three-year training in order to be more consistent.
“We are leaving a legacy as Barclays was a trusted brand so we are building upon that legacy and that is why we are conscious to preserve the Barclays DNA as well as building upon it, and that will come through better service and more product offerings and be more responsive to our client,” he concluded.