South Africa’s sovereign credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s Investor Services on Friday evening.

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates both globally and domestically, concerns are mounting at an exponential pace about the ultimate impact on the South African economy.

Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index for March 2020 averaged at 45.9 index points, compared to 47.6 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

We want to assure our customers at Absa that we understand the impact the COVID-19 may have on your financial position, and we want to offer a payment relief during this period.

Absa has donated an initial R15m towards various initiatives aimed at dealing with the impact of COVID-19 in South Africa.

On Monday, 23 March 2020, The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced an escalation of measures put in place on 14 March 2020 by declaring a de facto national lockdown to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Absa has implemented a number of interventions in all our Absa offices, including branches, to ensure the safety of our staff and customers.

This morning (12 March 2020) Absa became aware of a contractor from Spain, who has been on our premises since Tuesday, 10 March 2020, who reported to our health clinic at Absa Towers West in Johannesburg, complaining of flu-like symptoms. Based on his condition, our medical team immediately assisted him to undergo the necessary testing procedures for COVID-19 in line with national guidelines, and recommended immediate self-quarantine.

Absa Group Ltd. reported improving revenue growth for the 2019 financial year, with headline earnings growing slightly