Absa confirms divorce is on time and on budget

Paul O'Flaherty. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Paul O'Flaherty. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Absa group says its complex and costly separation from its former parent company Barclays is on time and on budget with a year still to go. 

Absa says the project is 69% complete, with 82 of the total 266 work streams still to be completed. So far it has spent R8.5bn of the R12.6bn it was paid upfront as part of the settlement.

“We have passed several milestones, but there are hard yards still to come,” said Paul O’Flaherty, chief executive for engineering services at Absa.

O’Flaherty’s team is responsible for the execution of the project, which has involved about 1,800 employees and contractors.

The board has ultimate responsibility and oversight of the project through a subcommittee created expressly for this purpose.

The continental banking group, which acquired Barclays’s African banking operations after the announcement of the separation, said capital expenditure will peak in 2019.

The group successfully migrated the banking platform for the African operations from England to SA in April 2019, a mammoth task that required the co-ordination of regulators in countries across the continent that Absa has a presence in. 

But besides just untangling and separating systems, Absa said it has used the opportunity to invest in systems and processes that further enhance the customer experience.

The project is expected to be capital and cash-flow neutral to the group on its completion.