Bank of America is scrapping the MBNA brand in Europe as it gears up for the launch of a second card in the market. It is understood that the MBNA card will be relaunched under the Bank of America.
The news follows the decision last week to appoint WPP Group-owned branding agency The Brand Union to head a major European marketing push (MW last week). The Brand Union, previously Enterprise IG, is expected to lead the rebranding project.
Speculation has been surrounding the future of the MBNA brand, which now falls under the arm of Bank of America Europe Card Services. Although it has remained both the business and consumer brand, it will now be phased out in favour of the Bank of America moniker.
It is not known whether the bank is planning to create a new brand for the region or if it will bring over an existing brand from the US.
MBNA is Europe’s largest credit card issuer, with much of its operation based in the UK and Spain. It was bought by BoA for $35bn (£17.8bn) in a deal completed on January 1, 2006. Prior to its acquisition, it was the largest independent credit card issuer in the world specialising in affinity cards.
In the US, it continued to issue MBNA still issued American Mastercard, Visa and American Express cards under its own name for the first half of 2006 but all card products were rebranded as Bank of America by the end of that year.
An MBNA spokeswoman declined to confirm the rebrand but says The Brand Union has been tasked to “look at the credit card brand” across Europe.