Barclays Africa Group (BAG) plans to invest around £72m in the next three years to transform its retail and business banking division’s branch network, automated teller machines (ATMs) and to digitize its channels in South Africa.
The move by the bank, whose branches are branded as Absa in South Africa, is to get back lower-income customers lost to Capitec Bank and business clients to Standard Bank.
BAG retail and business banking CEO Craig Bond said Barclays has lost thousands of customers to Capitec, First National Bank (FNB) and Standard Bank, and that they were very conservative on personal loans.
"We have committed R1.2bn to start transforming our branch network," Bond added.
To attract customers, the bank is also working with a retailer to launch a new bank account, which will be the cheapest in the country.
According to the lender, it has also learnt some skills from banks such as HSBC, Standard Bank and Nedbank, and had analyzed the challenges faced in the retail and business banking division.
The retail banking division of Barclays Africa Group has 9.2 million customers, 864 branches and 9,162 ATMs in South Africa.