Today we officially embark on the exciting journey of becoming the ‘Go-To’ bank in Africa.

The combination of the majority of the Barclays Africa businesses with Absa was the next logical step in delivering our "One Africa" strategy, which Barclays PLC announced last year. We have already consolidated the regional offices for Absa Africa and Barclays Africa, as well as introduced a global product strategy for banking across the continent. The combination of the businesses will mirror the managerial and operational structure we have already put in place.

We are tremendously excited by the opportunities for growth in Africa. We are wholeheartedly committed to our businesses across Africa and this combination will help us to leverage the significant potential of these businesses. It will provide a platform for further growth that we firmly believe will be to the benefit of our colleagues, our customers and clients, our shareholders and the communities in which we operate.

This exciting and transformational deal creates a high-quality franchise in Africa with a leading network of more than 1,300 outlets and 10,400 ATMs across ten countries.

This is a momentous achievement for Barclays in Africa. The deal marks an extraordinary milestone that sets us firmly on course to become the ‘Go-To’ bank on the continent. It means that we can accelerate Africa’s true global potential by supporting the development of capital markets and providing a greater range of financial services on the continent.

We have created one of the leading banking groups in Africa, strengthening our geographic footprint and increasing our growth opportunities on the continent. By capitalising on our heritage and seizing the opportunity in some of the fastest growing economies in the world, we are well positioned to win in Africa.