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Absa Botswana expects higher profits

MBONGENI MGUNI
Absa Botswana expects higher profits
Absa Bank Botswana expects its pretax profits for 2019 to come in up to P88 million higher than the previous period. Some employees, however, will not enjoy the fruits of the higher earnings as the bank is finalising a voluntary separation scheme due to be complete by May. 

Last week, the newly rebranded bank told investors that pretax profits for the year ended December 31, 2019 would be up to 15% higher than the P588 million earned in 2018.

Absa Bank Botswana expects to unveil its results before the end of March. The latest forecasts continue the bank’s run of robust profits, following a difficult spell in the early years of the last decade. 

The higher profits, however, come as news breaks of a retrenchment exercise at the bank. Botswana Bank Employees Union (BOBEU) officials told Mmegi last week that a meeting with Gaborone branch members on the way forward was due to be held tomorrow.

Absa Botswana has confirmed that a voluntary separation period where employees ranging from the lowest cadre to director level,

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can apply, opened earlier this month.

It is understood union officials are seeking a mandate on the way forward in order to engage Absa Botswana management on the latest developments.

Bank officials were quick to separate the looming cut backs from the rebranding, suggesting that it is employees who approached management requesting a voluntary separation scheme. Bank officials said employees wanted to be able to pursue career changes, early retirement and other options.

A few years ago, Absa Bank Botswana, then known as Barclays Botswana, saw profits plummet due in part to the effects of a lax credit policy. A change in strategy and other initiatives have since seen profit growth return, while the recent rebranding is expected to add momentum to the local bank.



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