Absa Bank Uganda, a subsidiary of Absa Group Limited has today received the license to operate and trade under its new name from Bank of Uganda. Formerly known as Barclays Bank Uganda, 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.
The license was officially handed over to the bank’s Managing Director Nazim Mahmood by Governor Bank of Uganda Prof Emmanuel Mutebile, at the Central Bank head office.
“Today we begin a new chapter as Absa Bank Uganda Limited, adopting our parent company’s name and brand while retaining our indelible commitment to Uganda and its people. Our new brand is a commitment to Uganda and to the wider continent: Absa is a truly African bank, with global scalability and reach,” said Mahmood.
The company, which has been operating in Uganda for close 92 years, reiterated its commitment to the country’s growth and economic development under the Absa brand.
“We have invested in crucial sectors of development of the national economy, including trade, agriculture, SMEs, infrastructure and investments. We will continue to play a critical role by investing in these sectors without neglecting the ordinary citizen who seeks quality financial services and safe investments for their hard-earned money,” said Mahmood.
The Governor commended Absa Bank Uganda for contributing to the growth of the banking sector in the past and urged them to continue to deliver quality and affordable financial services.
“Key to our agenda is the provision of affordable financial services to Ugandans especially the rural population, who remain unbanked and therefore financially excluded. We are keen to see continuity with Absa in provision of quality financial services and drive the private sector development agenda,” Mutebile said.
For customers, there will be no change to their account details and there will no fee changes associated with the name change. The bank’s branches will continue to operate as usual.
With effective from today, all new cards and cheque books will be issued under the Absa brand. Barclays’ cards will continue to work as normal until their date of expiry. Customers can continue to use their Barclays’ cheque books until April 2020. After that date only cheques drawn on from an Absa cheque book will be accepted.
Customers are urged to be particularly vigilant during this time, as fraudsters are always looking for opportunities to obtain important personal information.
Mahmood reaffirmed that the bank would remain a significant player in the banking and financial services sector in Uganda and a contributor to Uganda’s economy.
“As Absa, our ambition is to become a digitally led bank that is centred around the ever changing needs of customers. We believe we have a role to play and intend to leverage digital technology to expand reach and access of financial services but also provide affordable services.” he said.
As part of the bank’s financial inclusion agenda, the bank announced that it now has a network of 450 active agents spread across the country offering agency banking services and a high volume of transactions totalling to 248,000 this year alone.