‘Servus’ Chosen As Name For Canada’s New Super-CU

The mystery is over. The name of Canada’s 3rd largest credit union will be Servus.

The credit union’s board chose the name because the Servus brand was created only 18 months ago, is recognized in the Edmonton market and can be trademarked.

Earlier this year, three credit unions in Alberta (Servus, Common Wealth and Community Savings) announced they were merging to create the third largest in Canada, with $9 billion in assets, almost 400,000 members, 2,000 employees and 100 branch locations. The merger left two big questions unanswered:

  1. What will the name of the credit union be?
  2. What will happen to Young & Free, the phenomenally popular Gen-Y promo from Common Wealth CU, one of the the merging credit unions?

In the comments of a previous post here at The Financial Brand, representatives from both Common Wealth and Currency Marketing, the agency behind Young & Free, reassured concerned readers that yes indeed, Young & Free would survive the merger.

The selection of Servus as the name comes as no surprise. First off, Servus was the larger credit union in the merger. It’s also a far more unique and interesting name than either of the other two options, Common Wealth and Community Savings, which are both fairly generic names. That’s what makes it possible to get trademark protection with real teeth. And the double-meaning behind the name is a nice touch: “service” and “serve us.”

Being able to secure a clean trademark is critical when changing names, a lesson some financial institutions frequently learn the hard way. (For related coverage on the pitfalls of financial trademarks, see today’s article from The Financial Brand on TD’s troubles with the Commerce name.)

Common Wealth and Community Savings have until October 31, 2008 to phase-in the new Servus name.

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