Abbey rebranding drops National

25 September 2003
One of the biggest banking names on the High Street is dropping part of its title as part of a major rebranding exercise.

The bank has decided to market itself as Abbey, ditching the National part and unveiling a new logo and slogan as part of its new look.

Angus Porter, the group's customer director, said: "Abbey is much more than a shorter name and new design.

"We still have a long way to go and we won't change everything overnight but we are sending a clear signal to our customers that we intend to be truly different."

The bank's operations are in the midst of a three-year overhaul, announced in February this year, after the company sank £984 million into the red.

The latest bid to revitalise the former building society follows a decision to concentrate on UK personal financial services.

The £11 million revamp, masterminded by chief executive Luqman Arnold, replaces the old Abbey National slogan of "because life is complicated enough" with "turning banking on its head".

New plans for Abbey include simpler accounts and services and an end to the use of banking jargon.

The bank's six different current accounts will be replaced with just one - The Account.

Mr Arnold said: "We're not the only bank to recognise the need to make our offers easier to understand - but we are committed to applying this to everything we do."

Its internet bank Cahoot will remain a separate brand, but" will be more closely aligned to Abbey," the company said. Its Scottish Mutual and Scottish Provident brands will be replaced by the new Abbey brand.

The group plans to hire an extra 600 people to work in its telephone centres and branches, and will also provide an extra 60,000 training days this year for employees.