JOHANNESBURG Dec 2 Barclays Africa Group
plans to spend 1.2 billion rand ($118 million) over the
next three years on refurbishing its branch network in South
Africa, its head of retail and business banking said on Monday.
The bank previously called Absa is trying to win back
lower-income customers lost to Capitec Bank Holdings
and business clients taken by Standard Bank, Craig Bond
said at a media briefing. The bank still uses the Absa brand in
"We lost a lot of customers to Capitec. We were very
conservative on personal loans," said Bond, who joined Barclays
in January from Standard Bank, where he had been head
of the China business.
Barclays has "lost hundreds of thousands of customers" to
Capitec, he said.
Capitec, South Africa's sixth-largest bank by market value,
has enjoyed rapid growth by focusing on lucrative, short-term
loans to low-income borrowers who were previously under-served
by South Africa's main street banks.
Barclays now plans to win back retail customers by both
upgrading individual branches, and rejigging its branch network
to meet needs of local areas, Bond said.