SA Bank of Athens Repositioning as Grobank

Against the background of South Africa’s rapidly evolving and expanding banking landscape, where digital solutions and low-cost operating models have become some of the top challenges, the former South African Bank of Athens has repositioned itself as a new banking entity – Grobank.

The Grobank brand reflects the transaction that concluded in October 2018 when GroCapital Holdings, supported by its shareholders AFGRI Group Holdings, Fairfax Africa and the Public Investment Corporation, obtained all the regulatory approvals for the acquisition of the South African Bank of Athens Limited (SABA), corresponding to 99.81% of the issued share capital. The SA Bank of Athens has been operating in South Africa since 1947 – a history of more than seven decades and, with the acquisition, the opportunity has been created to reposition the bank and introduce its new identity: Grobank.

Grobank is positioning itself to deliver both the extensive banking experience gained through its history as Bank of Athens, as well as accessing the deep food and agri-business knowledge of its shareholders. This will result in a Bank that is focused firmly on supporting the food and agriculture value chain in South Africa, comprising business ranging from farms to food manufacturers, retailers, transporters, importers / exporters and more. The Bank will be focused on building an agri-banking offering based directly on the insights gained through direct relationships with farmers and agri-businesses held across generations, and will add these to its existing range of proven business banking products and services. These services offered will also allow the Bank to continue to serve and grow its current SME customer base, as well as focusing on expanding its alliance banking business offering.

Grobank CEO, Mr Spiro Georgopoulos, said:

“We are marrying our strengths as bankers and financiers to the strategically important need to support food security. This focus will not only lie in the farming sector, but also across the food business chain including small and medium enterprises, business investors, entrepreneurs, retailers, restaurant owners, warehouse owners and factory owners.”

In a time where banking services are becoming increasingly digital, Grobank also intends on placing relationship banking at the heart of its offering. While a great digital offering remains a critical element of banking services, Grobank believes that a true relationship with an expert banker remains a core need for businesses that make complex banking decisions. Understanding what matters to a business, and delivering on those needs cannot be delivered without engaging directly with that business. As a result, while the Bank has today made a complete brand transition at all of its branches and digital sites, customer engagement will still largely be delivered at the farm, factory or premises of its customers.

Mr Georgopoulos, said “We will continue our strategy to reach out to business owners, learn their business, listen to their needs and provide products and services tailor-made for our market. We are committed to develop a deep understanding of the Grobank client’s world, their financial needs and aspirations.”

For information about Grobank, visit www.grobank.co.za.

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