What seemed like a never-lending story for Absa is now coming to an end. The bank wants to grow its personal loans business and can do so without tinkering with its risk criteria, Cowyk Fox, Absa's managing executive for everyday banking, told Business Times. Personal loans are low-hanging fruit for Absa as it attempts to claw back market share after more than a decade of restraints imposed on it by former British parent Barclays. Absa was one of the biggest granters of personal loans before Barclays took control in 2005, but the bank started pulling back during the financial crisis of 2008, the recession that followed it and most of the years since. The timing was unfortunate as it coincided with a multiyear boom in unsecured lending. African Bank, before its collapse in 2014, and Capitec grew its loan books rapidly in the first half of the decade, while the other banks also benefited. Absa lost out. 11% Absa's market share in personal loans "Our market share in personal loans is 1...

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