Global clout is not enough for a name change

Santander’s decision to replace three of the British high street’s most recognised banking brands may not be all plain sailing. Change is certainly needed, but while Abbey customers have had some time to get used to the Santander’s branding, the same is not true for A&L’s and Bradford & Bingley’s.

The crisis within the banking sector has led to consumers looking for safe havens for their finances. In our experience, some are now rejecting the global banking giants in favour of smaller providers because they are not part of the global banking elite associated with the industry’s downturn. There is a risk that solely focusing on the benefits of membership of a global financial group will be counter-productive for Santander, without clear reassurance to customers that the service for which the ex-mutuals was famous will not be compromised.

Simon Tunna,
Director financial research, IFF

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