The group has started trading under its new name and new share code (ABG) on the JSE today. Absa group said in a statement that the name change marks the start of a new era for the group as a stand-alone African group with a new brand design for a forward-looking business in a digital age.

The new Absa group has a presence in 12 African countries and plans to open international offices in the UK and the USA.

“Our new name and brand are an expression of our new purpose and strategic direction, which commits us to grow in Africa,” Absa Group Limited CEO Maria Ramos said.

“We are rallying around a shared sense of purpose and identity, while celebrating our diversity,” she said.

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Absa Group launched a new growth strategy on 1 March 2018, as it separates from Barclays PLC. The strategy prioritises cultural transformation, as well as restoring leadership position in the group’s core business areas, and developing pioneering propositions for customers and clients.

The new Absa brand design is an expression of the group’s new purpose, which is:  “bringing your possibility to life”. The rollout of the new Absa brand design in South Africa will be completed in 2019.

The new Absa brand will also be rolled out to Absa Group’s Barclays banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia by mid-2020, subject to approvals including from regulators in those countries.

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Product and service functionality will not be affected by the rebranding programme. In renaming Barclays banks across the continent, the group will be able to build on the pedigree of the Absa brand as a strong and stable bank.

The brand has substantial equity – Absa was named the fourth most valuable brand, with an estimated value of R1,9 billion, or about $1,5 billion, in South Africa by global brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance this year.