Santander is to rebrand all of its Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley brands under the Santander name.
About 1,300 Alliance & Leicester, Bradford & Bingley and Abbey branches will be rebranded and refurbished by the end of 2010. Abbey and Bradford & Bingley’s savings accounts will be renamed from the start of next year followed by Alliance & Leicester’s later in the year.
Abbey credit cards will be rebranded from next month.
Santander says the change is part of the group’s aim to operate as a single brand globally. It already operates under the Santander name in over 40 countries worldwide.
A spokesman for the group says it will run a version of the Lewis Hamilton-starring campaign from next week in branches and on television to build on the recognition of the Santander brand. He adds that in the three years the Formula 1 campaign has been running, recognition has increased from 20 to 82%.
Abbey marketing director Keith Moor will continue to have responsibility for all three brands
WCRS is Santander’s lead creative agency in the UK while digital work is handled in house or through the Engine Group. Direct Marketing was taken in house last year.
Carat retained the consolidated £48m media planning and buying account for all three last December.
The Spanish banking group bought Abbey in 2004 and has already incorporated its flame logo into Abbey.
Last year, Santander expanded its UK portfolio in the wake of the global financial crisis, buying Alliance & Leicester in a £1.3bn deal. It then acquired Bradford & Bingley’s branches and deposits from the Government after the Yorkshire firm had been hit by the credit crisis.