The Absa Group headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/WALDO SWIEGERS
The Absa Group headquarters in Johannesburg. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/WALDO SWIEGERS

Absa Group, one of Africa’s leading diversified financial service group, was recently awarded the Euromoney 2020 Excellence in Leadership in Africa Award as a result of their integrated Covid-19 response for their employees, clients and communities. 

Absa took home the award, which recognises excellence in leadership in Africa. The award looks at what corporates in the banking industry have done for their employees, clients, communities, industry and economies in Africa. Absa is one of six banks in Africa that have been recognised for their outstanding performance during an unprecedented era of constant change and uncertainty as a result of the global health crisis.

“We are very happy to receive this award, as it demonstrates our commitment to Africa, which is our home and our source of strength as a business,” said Charles Russon, CE for Absa Corporate and Investment Banking.

Absa was undoubtedly a strong contender for this award, having adopted extensive initiatives and programmes in response Covid-19 across all its 12 African markets. Absa takes pride in its commitment to facilitate economic growth, looking after the wellbeing of employees, enabling the success and resilience of its clients, and looking after the communities it serves. 

When building a strategic response to the pandemic, Absa decided that the safety and wellbeing of its employees was its core priority because it understood that a successful business is driven by its people.

The award recognises the efforts that Absa made to ensure that its employees had all the tools required to work remotely and that its offices observed all health and safety protocols for on-site essential employees. It also recognises the investment Absa made in providing valuable counselling and mindfulness initiatives to preserve employees physical and psychological health. Absa also included employees, just like clients, in payment moratoriums to ease their financial hardship during this time of threatened livelihoods and economic strain.

Russon also stated that Absa investigated various ways to create the most value for its clients by identifying and offering cash and trade management advice and solutions while staying close to its clients’ businesses to understand their specific requirements during the pandemic. 

Absa Group offered a payment relief programme, which as of July 29, benefited more than 700,000 retail account holders in SA. The bank approved many trade and working capital transactions and established a special task team that oversaw the deployment of financing to ensure the continued operation of essential services in its respective markets. It also provided 65,000 customers in Absa regional operations markets with payment relief as well.

Absa has contributed R10m to the Covid-19 Solidarity Fund, to respond to and combat the coronavirus. It has also contributed R55m to government initiatives and other civil society efforts across our markets since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. 

The relief programme implemented by Absa demonstrates its ability to adapt business operations to changing circumstances, providing solutions to clients, while supporting and enabling key stakeholders, particularly employees.

“Our success lies in the direct integration of financial operations and close-knit relationships with employees and clients, and this has made us a trusted advisor and natural banking partner for our clients. We congratulate all the other winners in this category who also did their part in their regions to lead through excellence during this time,” said Russon.

This article was paid for by Absa.


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