Tanzania: Absa Opens First New-Look Branches in Dar

Barclays Bank Tanzania opened the first Absa-branded branch in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday as a rebranding journey of the bank from Barclays to Absa gets underway.

The new Barclays Bank branch with the new Absa Group branding and new colours was opened in Mikocheni area in the city to mark a significant milestone in one of the largest rebranding projects in Africa to express Absa Group new identity after it separated from Barclays.

"This is the look and feel we will be rolling out across our Tanzania branch network," said Barclays Bank Tanzania Managing Director, Abdi Mohamed at the opening ceremony of the new branch graced by Assistant Commissioner of External Finance in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mamelta Mutagwaba.

Absa intends to rebrand its operations across Africa, most of which currently use the Barclays brand, by 2020, including more than 1,000 branches and 10,000 ATMs.

The project will likely be one of the largest rebranding programmes in Africa at this time.

The Managing Director said they were getting ready to change the name from Barclays Bank Tanzania to Absa Bank Tanzania in line to parent company, Absa Group Limited's decision to rebrand all its operations to Absa after its separation from Barclays.

"The Bank has started our journey to change from Barclays to Absa...I trust you will find the brand as impressive and exciting as we do," said Mr Mohamed.

The rebranding programme will not affect customers' product of service functionality and Absa would not request customers to access their details "All customer services will continue as before throughout the name change process. Customers are not required to do anything during this period," he said.

The Guest of Honour, Ms Mutagwaba who had represented the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango challenged the bank's management to make sure the new brand meets customers' requirements at the standards befitting the new Absa Group brand.

"It is important to know customers are important stakeholders and are anxious during changes within the bank because of the fear of losing the value of their money or lowering quality of services," she said.

She said the bank should come up with financial products to cater for corporate customers as well as small scale entrepreneurs to prove to Tanzanians that the bank provides services to all Tanzanians.

Ms Mutagwaba called on the bank to take advantage of investment opportunities in major energy and transport infrastructure projects undertaken by the government.

"As you understand, the government continues with the strategy to achieve a middle income status and transform the economy from agricultural led to semi-industrial. This strategu requires cooperation between the public and private sector. It is important to involve the banking sector," she said.

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