HSBC Holdings has announced it will rename its British banking arm as ‘HSBC UK’ putting an end to speculations that suggested HSBC was planning to revive the Midland Bank moniker, the banking chain it acquired in the early 1990s.
In a statement released Thursday, HSBC said that following a consultation process with retail, private and commercial banking customers, as well as customer-facing staff, it had decided to keep the HSBC brand and add ‘UK’ to distinguish the ring-fenced bank from the non-ring-fenced bank.
The re-branding decision has been taken to comply with new government legislation coming into force in 2019 which states banks must segregate their investment arms from their retail and business banking operations to offer great protection to consumers.
As announced, the new brand will be rolled out across the bank’s 1000 UK branches starting January 1 2018, one year before ring-fencing legislation comes into effect. The head office of the UK retail bank is also being relocated from London to Birmingham by 2019.
“It soon became obvious that everyone preferred a name that maintains a strong connection to HSBC, and a clear commitment to the UK,” the memo sent to HSBC’s 250,000 employees around the world and seen by Sky News read.
“That’s why we have decided to call the ring-fenced bank HSBC UK, with ‘UK’ distinguishing it from our non-ring-fenced banking operations.
“Our customers told us the HSBC brand represents strength and connectivity; they said our global network can help them realise both their domestic and international ambitions and that’s what differentiates us from other UK banks.”
Stuart Gulliver, Group CEO, said “As outlined at our Investor Update in June, setting up the UK ring-fenced bank in Birmingham is a key strategic action for the Group.
“Our ambition is to be the bank of choice in the UK and as a name, HSBC UK will build on the global connectivity and customer trust of the HSBC brand and differentiate us in a competitive market.”