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Job Opportunity at Absa, Head of Collections and Recoveries


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With over 100 years of rich history and strongly positioned as a local bank with regional and international expertise, a career with our family offers the opportunity to be part of this exciting growth journey, to reset our future and shape our destiny as a proudly African group.

Job Summary

The role holder will be expected to execute and oversee the implementation of initiatives related to Early, Late and Post Write Off Secured and Unsecured Collections for the Absa Africa country under management. With specific responsibilities on:

  • End to End operational design;
  • Operational planning and performance;
  • Design, development, change acceptance and operational economics;
  • Resource management;
  • Ownership of the annual operating budget ; and
  • Managing the Collections relationships with in-country partners and the ARO team. 

 Job Description

The role holder will be expected to execute and oversee the implementation of initiatives related to Early, Late and Post Write Off Secured and Unsecured Collections for the Absa Africa country under management. With specific responsibilities on:

End to End operational design;

  • Operational planning and performance;
  • Design, development, change acceptance and operational economics;
  • Resource management;
  • Ownership of the annual operating budget ; and
  • Managing the Collections relationships with in-country partners and the Absa Regional Office team.

Business Management

  • Align the country and ARO targets for Collections to the goals outlined in the relevant Collections strategy. Explain targets to team members to ensure their comprehensive understanding as well as monitoring of execution.
  • Co-develop collections plans in conjunction with the BARO Regional Head and oversee the complete country execution to reduce Impairments for the portfolio under management.
  • Execute the relevant segmentation strategies into the Collections portfolio country-wide.
  • Align country Collections plans and resources to the country and Regional Office focus, thereby ensuring consistency. Translate and communicate the Collections strategic goals for effective execution within the country.
  • Network internally to the country and in the region across all Collections shops to identify and capitalise on best practices and business trends in Early Collections, Late Collections, Bankruptcy, and Assets in possession.
  • Use and analyse industry knowledge and trends as well as customer and consumer feedback to build recommendations to improve business performance with a focus on customer rehabilitation and retention. Work with the relevant Regional Head of Collections and the in-country HEAD OF RETAIL & STRATEGIES to implement and optimise the collections capability from the trends.
  • Review current process and procedures and continuously innovate and look for opportunities to improve efficiency within the current processes and control frameworks. Any proposed changes that are outside approved processes require escalation within the existing framework.
  • Assess and monitor the Collections Portfolios with the focus on rehabilitation and customer retention.
  • Analyse and identify accounts in Late Collections that are beyond rehabilitation and implement appropriate strategies to address.
  • Analyse and interpret Management Information trends and proactively act on these results.

Financial Management

  • Monitor the expenses within the unit and ensure that budgeted limits are adhered to. Escalate overspend items.
  • Manage the internal incentive pool as stipulated in the approved guidelines, where the scheme has been approved and is in force.
  • Ensure that the business remains within the Impairment budget allocated to the Collections unit by reviewing performance statistics provided by the respective teams on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
  • Ensure cost efficient utilisation of existing resources and facilities. Provide a motivation to the Regional Head of Collections and the in-Country Head of Retail & Strategies for any additional resource requirements.
  • Manage the overall performance of the Collections Portfolio for the country.
  • Manage the Ageing of portfolios effectively to minimise impairments within the rules as defined in the applicable policies of the bank.
  • Oversee the profitability of asset realisation in Secured Late Collections, by closely monitoring the Assets in possession process.

Operational Planning and Performance

  • Accountable for the definition, agreement and achievement of pre-delinquency collections operational performance objectives
  • Accountable for the Collections and Recoveries operating budget
  • Accountable for identifying operating requirements and improvements for the end to end pre-delinquency and collections processes
  • Accountable for building strong relationships with service providers, including 3rd parties and internal areas, to drive out process improvements and establish operational designs
  • Accountable for change acceptance and implementation within the operating environment where the changes impact the operating design and/or processes
  • Accountable for ensuring all new and existing processes comply to legal and regulatory requirements and reduce exposure to fraud as well as being supported at an appropriate cost
  • Accountable for reducing costs through improvements to the end-to-end operational design.
  • Accountable for ensuring quality MI is produced to enable performance and benefits to be monitored and measured
  • Accountable for managing the Collections relationship with the Absa Partnerships team and with Partners directly (as appropriate) to plan resources , processes and strategies to deliver the Collections component of joint ventures.

Risk Management and Controls

  • Oversee the implementation and compliance of policies, procedures & technical systems that support the operational area.
  • Management of policy dispensations and waivers in conjunction with BARO Regional Head and Risk Management.
  • Identify and report on the reputational risk associated with the Collections Portfolio. Make recommendations on how to address issues identified.
  • Ensure that processes, control requirements and risk management frameworks that have been designed for the area are understood by all members of the team.
  • For audit findings that have an impact on the area, work with the Regional Head of Collections to understand what actions are required to close out findings and implement the required actions.
  • During scheduled audits and management assurance reviews, ensure that all information required by the auditors are provided timeously.
  • Complete required compliance and SOX attestations.
  • Log all Risk and Loss events as a result of error or fraud highlighted in the department. Ensure that the issues are thoroughly investigated and closed or escalated as per policy.
  • Ensure that the team understands all compliance requirements and highlight gaps to the Regional Head of Collections and the Head of Retail & Strategies.
  • Monitor compliance training undertaken by team members and ensure that they complete the required training within prescribed timelines.
  • Ensure that all regulatory requirements specific to the country and Absa are adhered to.
  • Design of key controls within the Collections team to ensure adherence to all applicable policies.
  • Recommendation of changes to be applied to the policies as per Absa processes.
  • Ensure that the Business Continuity Tool is updated regularly. Arrange for team members to participate in BCM tests at the required intervals and document test results. Work with other managers in the area to implement corrective measures in case of test fails.
  • Ensure that all Manager, team leaders and team members understand the control requirements related to physical and systems access control and information security requirements.
  • Collect access cards from employees leaving the department or the bank and send instructions to IT and HR to remove their systems access.
  • Ensure that the Collections shop has proper representation to address occupational health and safety requirements.

People Management

  • Develop a high performing team by: Recruiting and promoting the best people in line with the business’s needs, supporting the enhancement and development of people, embedding formal performance development and informal coaching.
  • Identify talent and develop successors to retain key individuals and skills sets within Absa through the succession planning process.
  • Ensure that the Absa values are displayed and entrenched within the team and across the unit. Display and promote behaviours that support the Absa brand and culture.
  • Hold Collections leaders accountable for performance and consequence management to entrench a performance culture.
  • Manage change while maintaining operational effectiveness.
  • Promote a learning culture and imparting technical expertise and knowledge through continuous coaching of staff.
  • Pursue your own development to increase personal effectiveness, acknowledging strengths and areas of development.
  • Delegate tasks appropriately according to the business requirements and ensure recognition thereof.
  • Demonstrate personal accountability, integrity and maintain discipline across the in-country collections floor.
  • Responsible for creating and sustaining a positive and energetic team spirit.
  • Review and update departments Org Structures and Roles frequently to ensure that they are fit for purpose.
  • Monitor Overtime and ensure that it is kept to a minimum and within Legislator requirements.
  • Manage the Shift Allowance practices and take appropriate action.
  • Initiate disciplinary processes and manage grievance procedures in conjunction with Human Resources as and when required.
  • Address poor performance of team members through the formal Performance Accelerator Programme and ensure that continued poor performance is appropriately remediated.
  • Participate in the creation and implementation of the relevant people practices surveys and actions for the country Collections team

Risk and Control Objective

  • In the event of major issues in the business unit, act as crisis coordinator and allocate tasks to the crisis teams.
  • Review the risk and compliance profiles of the business unit on a regular basis and provide consultative support to the Managing Director on changes that are required to rebalance risk and reward where required.
  • Understanding of own role in the end to end processes in which you play a part, including applicable risks and controls.
  • Adhere to Absa’s policies and procedures applicable to own role, demonstrating sound judgment and responsible risk management.
  • Keep up to date on all regulatory changes and have the ability to articulate the impact to the Business, be well informed on the industry thinking.
  • All mandatory training completed to deadline

Technical skills / Competencies


  • Drive Performance
  • Build Pride & Passion
  • Grow Talent & Capability
  • Execute at Speed
  • Delight Customers
  • Protect and enhance our reputation

Knowledge, Expertise and Experience

Knowledge & Skills:

  • Financial acumen
  • Leadership and management capability
  • Knowledge of Absa credit policies
  • Knowledge of initiatives and project changes being made through the change calendar and other areas of Absa in order to understand and ensure fit of own work
  • Knowledge of company people policies and procedures
  • Knowledge of business change disciplines
  • Knowledge of Process Management and Improvement Methodologies
  • Experience, qualifications and other requirements specific to the role
  • University Degree or equivalent
  • 3-5 Years Managerial experience
  • Experience gained in either senior Collections or Operational roles over a 2-5 year period.
  • Key internal and external senior Stakeholder / supplier and customer relationship management.
  • Budgetary management and cost reduction experience
  • Internal and external benchmarking practices.
  • Successful delivery of business and cultural change and delivery of associated

Absa Values

Absa’s  Values and Behaviours represent the set of standards which governs the actions of all of us who work for the bank and against which the performance of every one of us in Absa are being assessed and rewarded:

  • I drive high performance to achieve sustainable results
  • I’m obsessed with customer
  • I have an African heartbeat
  • I believe our people are our strengths


  • Bachelor`s Degrees and Advanced Diplomas: Business, Commerce and Management Studies (Required)




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