SOUTH AFRICA – South African lender Absa Bank is set to launch a new representative office in New York, USA to support its growth.

The new office, to be located in Manhattan, will carry out a variety of activities including marketing of its banking services. The move was approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS).

The office is aimed at enabling Absa to better serve clients, including international corporations and institutions, that invest or work in Africa.

The bank has already opened a representative office in London and is looking at other locations, including in Asia.

It will also procure credit information, carry out certain administrative office functions as well as refer new and existing clients to its African affiliates for business purposes.

Additionally, it will serve as a link between its US customers and Absa Bank and affiliates.

Charles Russon, chief executive of Absa Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), said that the opening of the Absa Bank Limited representative office is critical to the CIB strategy to be closer to its corporate and institutional clients who invest in Africa.

“This is a significant milestone in our growth strategy. Our representative office in New York will enable us to be a globally scalable business by bolstering relationships and driving more connectivity with our global clients through Absa Bank’s independent presence in the US following our separation from Barclays,” Russon said.

“Through this office, we will be able to directly market our banking services and products to corporate and institutional clients at their HQ decision making locations.

“We are particularly pleased, as this is progress in our journey to become a leading pan-African CIB franchise with strong international expertise and connectivity,” said James Gregory, chief representative for Absa Bank Limited New York.

Absa Bank, earlier known as Barclays Africa Group, originally Amalgamated Banks of South Africa, is an African based financial services group, offering personal and business banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management as well as bancassurance.

It has operations in 12 countries across the African continent and nearly 42,000 employees.