In Absa’s short life it has had to remake itself more times than any company would want. Barely older than SA’s democracy and forged through combinations and compromises that echo the politics that played out around it, its search for a robust strategy seems never to be over. It is the youngest of our big banks but has arguably faced more overhauls than those multiples its age. The scars are evident and contributed to the surprise exit last week of its new CEO, Daniel Mminele.

To see how it got to this stage, we need to rewind. No sooner had Absa settled into its role as the SA subsidiary of Barclays, which swooped on it in 2005, than the British bank stunned with an exit in 2017. ..

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