Business & Economy

Thursday, 14 December 2006 22:58

Absa will boost its footprint with R345 million

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{pp}In further support of Government’s drive to increase access to banking in previously disadvantaged communities, Absa is to drive improved customer accessibility and service delivery in rural areas and previously disadvantaged communities (PDAs) in 2007.

Absa, which has the largest retail banking footprint in the country, will spend R345m in the year January to December 2007 to increase its branch and self-service footprint across the country.

The branch network will be increased from 759 branches to 810 by the addition of 8 traditional branches in predominantly black market areas, 10 microloan centres, 30 portable branches, 1 student lifestyle centre and 2 small business centres.

The total planned investment in the branch network is R232m, which includes re-alignments and moves.

The self-service network, currently consisting of 6 776 ATMs, 96 Internet kiosks and 91 self-service kiosks, will be boosted by 375 ATMs, 200 internet kiosks, 175 self-service kiosks and 30 cash acceptors.

The total investment on the self-service network in 2007 will be R113m.

Between 60 - 70 per cent of the expansion in the branch and self-service network will be in previously disadvantaged areas.

Says Venete Klein: “Network expansion will follow from the requirements of the Financial Sector Charter to providing access to low-income individuals and will also flow from Absa’s secular growth across all customer segments.”

She says the Financial Sector Charter and related densification proposals will affect where and how often Absa places new ATMs.

“Absa also has to take into account channel migration from ATMs to debit card transactions (as people are learning to pay by debit card instead of withdrawing cash and paying by cash).”

Klein says that the portable branches (to increase from 13 to 43 in 2007) have extended the reach of banking, resulting in more customers using banks.


“The portable branches enable customers to carry out the same transactions as in a traditional, brick-and-mortar branch, but are significantly cheaper and faster to build, enabling bank access to be extended more economically and quickly”.

She says one of the principal objectives is to implement innovative technological strategies within the Group, designed to ensure enhanced levels of customer service and access to banking products.
• Absa has increased its customer base by 13,2 per cent from 6,8 million on 31 December 2004 to 8,1 million on 30 June 2006.

Contact Details:
Deon Oosthuizen 
Media Relations
Absa Group Communication
Tel: +27 11 350 5104
Cell: +27 82 828 7898
Absa  
+27 11 350 5104  
www.absa.co.za

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