Following Abbey National’s rebranding as Abbey, it is set to revise its offering to intermediaries as it aims to simplify its banking proposition to the end customer.
Christine McAllister, spokeswoman at Abbey, said: “We will be talking to them to find out how we can make things simpler while meeting their and their customers’ needs.”
McAllister said the rebranding of subsidiaries such as Scottish Mutual and Scottish Provident would make it easier for intermediaries because the Abbey name was better known, and did not need explaining.
However, she said Abbey would be careful to give intermediaries plenty of warning as to when the brands would be aligned to ensure clients were not sold Scottish Provident policies and then received Abbey branded documents, without first having the changes explained.
David Hollingworth, mortgage expert at London and Country, felt Abbey’s move to simplify its retail banking operations was a good one if it becomes easier for clients to understand, although he felt there was little in it for intermediaries.
Ian Jordan, head of mortgages at Hargreaves Lansdown, said he was waiting to be contacted by Abbey over the intermediary changes to be made, but felt the rebranding exercise would act as a break from its recent problems. However, he said there would have to be a cultural change enacted at Abbey as well if the move was to make any significant impact.
Luqman Arnold, chief executive of Abbey, said he hoped the changes would turn around the company’s fortunes and added: “We have 18 million customers and we want to do things to make them want to stay with us, do more business with us, and recommend us to their family and friends. This will drive business growth, which we expect to result in stronger financial performance.”