A Look at Name Changes Around the Financial Industry

First National becomes ‘First American’

This banks says that changing its name to First American Bank provides distinction from the many other First National Banks in New Mexico and throughout the country. But what about the First American Bank in Chicago? And the one in Iowa? And Louisiana? And Oklahoma? And Georgia? It looks like this bank in New Mexico is at least the 6th First American.

People question Norwich Union’s adoption of ‘Aviva’

Aviva bought Norwich Union a while ago, and announced last year the Norwich name would disappear. Aviva wants to consolidate all its brands under one — a singular, global Aviva umbrella.

While all of this was planned and none of it comes as any surprise, some people are calling into question the wisdom of an $18 million ad campaign to build a global financial brand — especially in this economic climate.

As one advertising columnist writes, “The irony is that at the moment the last thing the public wants is a global financial institution. It wants something that is dull and worthy, like Norwich Union and not at all sleek.”

Even the regular people of Sheffield seem to recognize this. “Re-branding is a risky and expensive business,” one person comments. “Why would any bank think it’s a good idea when there’s an economic downturn? I wonder how long it will be before they’re in difficulty.”

Members defeat ‘Grand Crossing’ name for credit union

HealthCare Plus Federal Credit Union in South Dakota gave its members a vote about whether they should change names to Grand Crossing or not. Apparently the credit union didn’t do a good job convincing members, who voted the name down. The credit union used an online voting form at their website (enlarge the image, left). The credit union still has plans to expand beyond the health care industry, and has not ruled out another attempt at name change to support its strategy.

Valley First Community Bank becomes ‘Central Arizona Bank’

When you pick a very bank-like name, it’s sure to get lost in a sea of similar-looking competitors: Arizona Bank, Arizona Federal Bank, Arizona Business Bank, Arizona Bank & Trust, Central Arizona Bank, 1st Bank Of Arizona, 1st National Bank Of Arizona and First Interstate Bank of Arizona. (Look at that list again.)

Galleria Credit Union changes names (again)

It was once known as Sun Employees Credit Union Number One. Then Sun Credit Union. Then Oryx Credit Union. Then Galleria. It’s now calling itself Prestige Community Credit Union. They say this is their “final name change.”

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