Abbey National 'De-Nationalizes' in Rebranding

25 September 2003

Abbey National, the former home-mortgage specialist now Britain's fifth largest bank, has “lost its personality”, according to Lugman Arnold, its chief executive of eleven months standing.

This carelessly mislaid persona can be regained by dropping the word ‘National’ from its name – or so Lugman has been convinced by brand consultancy Wolff Olins.

The facelift also includes a new logo (out go the high-recall couple walking beneath an umbrella), branch makeovers and the other design prestidigitations that accompany attempts to atone for past management mistakes and a sliding share price.

In concert with the revamp, a major marketing drive will try to differentiate the bank from its competitors with a theme of “turning banking on its head”.

However, the Abbey National name will be retained in areas where image counts for less than than the bottom-most row of numbers: its stock market listing, for example, and other corporate matters.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff