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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Is Barclays Bank Really Changing its name to ABSA Bank?

Columns Is Barclays Bank Really Changing its name to ABSA Bank?

By Concerned Barclays Employyee

Allow us space in your reputable publication to comment on the purported eminent “CHANGE OF NAME” of Barclays Bank Zambia to Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA) which is said to come into effect on 10th February 2020. This date is ironically being referred to as “ILLEGAL Day 1” by many Barclays employees.

Firstly, it is so astounding that a Country well-endowed with prominent legal minds and scholars such as John Sangwa, Sakwiba Sikota, Brian Mundubile, Musa Mwenye, Robert Simeza, Tutwa Ngulube etc. can simply turn a blind eye when apparent illegalities are taking place in the Country. Is it that our learned colleagues are not concerned about everyday challenges of average Zambians and only ‘show up’ when it is politics involved?

Secondly, equally worrying is the conspicuous deafening silence by the government itself. This is a government which campaigned on the platform of being pro-workers. The very government which has a Lawyer as President. Which government would buy the claim that this bank is just “adopting” the name of another bank based in South Africa?

How can a bank which has existed and been operating in Zambia for over 100 years simply claim that it is suddenly “changing its name” to that of another Bank? This is mockery of the worst kind. Clearly there is more than meets the eye. Definitely there are some legal obligations which this bank is trying to unscrupulously avoid.

At the heart of this scheme is the fact that apparently Barclays’ senior management want to avoid paying the workers the applicable ‘separation packages’. If this is achieved – they are assured of millions of Kwacha in bonuses, as they will have potentially saved the organization millions of kwacha. According to the law, the Barclays workers are supposed to be paid before signing new contracts with ABSA.

But it is CLEAR – what is at play here is the ‘kudyela masuku pamutu’ syndrome that is all too common among leaders of many organisations in this Country. The very syndrome that a Princess Mumbi talked about recently.

It is also quite alarming that this has been happening while Barclays employees have seemingly been docile. This attitude reflects the regrettable ‘sleepy’ nature of many Zambians. Most Zambians are just not militant enough. They notoriously tend to wait for the last time, or expect things to be done for them. Many resign their fate to nature.

In the interest of justice, we are appealing to this government to immediately launch investigations into the apparent secret/ shady transactions that have led to ABSA (South Africa) taking over Barclays bank Zambia PLC. Authorities should also establish how the shares were transferred/ bought and who the new shareholders are. Surely this is not too much to ask.

Government should ensure that if there are illegalities involved, then remedial action should be taken immediately. It is high time government came in to protect the interest of the workers at this bank. It is not clear if the current Labour Minister Mrs Joyce Nonde has the capacity to preserve the workers interests. She does not seem to have the confidence of many a Zambian worker.

And currently, there are reports that the Barclays internal labour UNION and many workers are under severe threats and intimidation by top management. The workers are being forced to sign questionable contracts. But apparently most workers feel powerless and helpless as they are not sure where to take their plight, where to run to.

It is shocking that in this day and age Zambians can easily be deceived into believing that a major bank can simply “change its name” to a different organization – apparently without any legal backing. Surely there set laws and guidelines which govern such undertakings. Companies must never be allowed to operate under a vacuum.

But the fact is that, apparently top management are all too aware that what they attempting to do is illegal as it conflicts with the current law. To ‘manage’ their employees they are using all sorts of tricks to excite the workers so as to ‘put butter on their faces’ as it were. To this end, they have organized a series of events. Next Friday for instance they will hold an ‘outdoor party’ in their car park – to create an impression that the workers are happy!

It is fair to note that the current Barclays CEO, Mizinga Shansonga Melu is a shrewd person when it comes to manipulating people, especially those at the very top. She is a master dribbler. This woman is widely known to merely survive through ‘connections’ with high ranking officials and through manipulating the media.

This explains why Barclays has been moving all their core banking systems and applications from Barclays UK to South Africa – under the cover of darkness. In some cases workers would be requested to start work at 23hrs till the following morning. The staff members involved were threatened and instructed to operate under total secret. All their systems have since been aligned with ABSA.

Now, surely it is high time government moved in to tame Barclays bank and curtail its illegal activities. Of late this bank has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Something is simply not right at this embattled bank.

Your readers will be interested to note that this Bank has a tendency to take selfish and rushed illegal steps only to realize when they lose subsequent lawsuits which are often taken by victimized employees. This is just the latest episode! There are virtually countless cases which this has bank has been losing over the years. And the list will inevitably keep increasing. Only time will tell.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. What a lot of people don’t realize is the banks that merged together to form ABSA the biggest was VOLSKAS bank that was the main bank of the Boer and the apartheid SA Govt. this was done in the early 90’s to cover up the banks of the apartheid era. so now Africans are depositing their savings to help the shareholders (Boers) make money.

  2. Barclay’s bank in Zambia is closed.
    Every is failing, it’s catastrophic years.
    And that Barclay’s boss can’t be fired because she is a woman, a diva.

  3. Ine indeloleshafye elyo napita nokupita chabe. anyway, brother man thanks for updating us with the happenings at Barclays. BM

  4. The government, PF, UPND, MMD, FD, SADC, AU, these are the things you should always fight. Let me state it as it should always have been. Boers will never be African, no matter how much they pout. They are not of God’s children of the continent. Only those with scales in their eyes will never see this. Only business Africans should ever do with them is when money is being made for its citizens. Wake up. This is for the whole continent.

  5. I see a lot of ignorance in this post .Both Barclays and ABSA are listed entities and information leading to the change of name has been in public domain for a while now .Banks cant just change shareholder structure without approval from the central bank .This same Barclays employee seems to be extremely ignorant of the happenings in the industry where they work .Zambians please learn to read and educate yourselves to avoid such embarrassing write ups .

  6. @Cosmos I agree with you. Theres no way I as a black man will support ABSA Bank. Its a racist bank and its a perpatuation of white monopoly capital

  7. Barclays Bank Longarces branch stole my money, in the 80’s I was out of the country for 4 years without any money transactions in my account ….when i came back they told me that my account didn’t exist. That was the time when there were no computers.

  8. I totally agree with kabanshi-Barclays sold its shares to absa long ago,10 years to be specific.Name change is long overdue/Am equally surprised at the ignorance many a zambian

  9. Barclays Bank Longarces Branch is a Bank were theives wait for you inside the Bank, they watch how much you withdraw while you are inside the Bank and follow you outside to rob you.

  10. Well, Looks like you have missed the point because unfortunately he has written more than he should have His point is ABSA is a different employer who is asking him to sign a new contract without terminating the one he signed with Barclays and receiving benefits due to him. Unfortunately this has now become a trend in Zambia especially in banks…BANC ABC & Finance bank, only senior managers received their dues, the rest nothing! It is very likely that snr managers at Barclays will negotiate their exit packages and sign new contracts or move to other banks. sad humans can be selfish!

  11. This isn’t just a name-change. Barclays Africa hv sold the controlling interest in Barclays’ African business. These things do happen all over the world in business. Barclays hv a duty to pay termination of employment packages to serving staff. They are free to sign new employment contracts with Absa and continue. Not long ago, Absa itself was controlled by Barclays Africa. But new capital rules in the UK hv made it too expensive for Barclays to continue investing in its African business. This thing has been going on for a while. Please read the quality financial press to stay informed. That’s why u’re easy prey for religious conmen ( not aware of any women so far).

  12. The author has failed lamentably to show cause why SCs Sangwa or Sakwiba should be involved. They have no locus standi and mention of their names is abuse of freedom of speech. If you don’t like the red colors of your new employer just quit and join stanbic. They at least use deep blue colors distantly related to those of your outgoing employer.

  13. ABSA is owned by Barclays Bank. If you have lived in South Africa you will know this. Even the papers, such as deposit or withdraw slips, at ABSA have Barclays written on them.

  14. Change of name is the right thing no wonder all the legal minds are quiet. It’s their capital, its their bank so there is nothing anyone can do it. Zambia does not have capacity to have only indigenous banks, talk of ABC (Botswana), ABSA, FNB (RSA), Africa bank, etc…..

  15. This article also raises questions about the kind of people Barclays has employed. For unionised staff, the trade union has a duty to conduct worker education seminars so that their members understand their contracts of employment. They can hire lawyers to explain issues to their members. I didn’t know bank employees in the 21st century would be this dumb and not know that business ownership changes hands.

  16. This issue has been common knowledge for more than a decade. If it hadn’t been for late President Mwanawasa’s prudent intervention Zanaco could have also been ABSA. That is why Barclays in the mid 2000s went about closing/selling most its branches. They were confident that that they would acquire Zanaco’s vast number of brances. However, after Pres Mwanawasa intervened, they quickly swallowed their pride and statrted opening prefabs around the country. All this was being done in the name of ABSA..

  17. @ Nemwine and @ bululu nice explanations. You have hit the nail on it’s head – that is what seem to be the case with Barclays. It’s all about terminating old contracts (and paying terminal benefits), before signing the new contracts with the new employer (ABSA). Whites are so clever and play around with words. I.diots can easily be cheated!

  18. Ba Kabanshi you have missed the point of this article. Its you who is actually ignorant of what the author is trying to put across. This is not new in Zambia. Typical examples are the sell of Mobile Oil and BP. Mobile Oil workers fought for what this author is pushing for and where paid before signing new contracts with Total Oil. Those who didn’t like the new contracts went away but with their dues they worked. BP workers were intimidated using senior management and PUMA just changed names and made workers sign new contracts without BP paying them. A good number of BP senior staff later became a target of frustration and they left PUMA without what they worked under BP save for the pension scheme.

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