ANZ NZ CEO says ANZ reviewing use of National brand; review probably done by mid-year, but not the focus right now

ANZ NZ CEO says ANZ reviewing use of National brand; review probably done by mid-year, but not the focus right now

By Bernard Hickey

ANZ NZ's chief executive David Hisco has rejected a National Business Review report that ANZ was considering shutting its National Bank branches, saying it made no sense and was not correct.

ANZ was however reviewing its use of the National Bank brand, including the black horse logo and the green colour owned by Lloyds, which sold National to ANZ in 2003.

Hisco said he told staff when he arrived last year that ANZ would review the use of the National brand and he expected to complete the review by the middle of this year, although ANZ was now focused on its response to the Christchurch earthquake.

"We're a bit disappointed with that because we said we're dealing with Christchurch and it's the wrong time to write a story when people are focused on other things, but they still went ahead with it," Hisco told in a video interview. He was referring to the NBR article.

"What they said was we're going to close all our (National) branches and it simply doesn't make sense. I don't know where you'd fit all the customers. It probably wasn't well researched," Hisco said.

He spoke on Wednesday at a Trans Tasman Business Circle luncheon in Auckland. Answering a question from a member of the audience, he said the NBR had not done a proper analysis and he invited members of the audience to cancel their subscriptions.

Hisco said he had told staff when he arrived last year that he would be in New Zealand for five years.

"So I need to design a strategy for the period that I'm here. I told the team and the staff 'everything is on the table -- we'll look at everything'," he said.

Hisco said the National Bank brand had been extended with Lloyds, the previous owner of National Bank, but eventually it would have to go. He said the brand referred to the National Bank horse and the green Lloyds' colours.

"Eventually we'll have to make a decision on that and I've told staff we'll make a decision and then we'll move on. But we haven't landed on it and really our minds couldn't be further from it."

Hisco said the National Bank brand agreement with Lloyds had a couple of years left to run, "but the review, I've said to staff, I'd let them know as soon as I've done it. It could be mid-year, but it's not what we're focused on right now."

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Well, one thing i can say for sure: the National Bank that existed when LloydsTSB (UK) owned it, certainly doesn't exist anymore.  Maybe they should just close the brand down & stop pretending it still is the NBNZ of old?

As an ANZ / Nat employee, it is inevitable the current branding of National Bank will change. From what we've heard, they're talking about the current brand, licenced from Lloyds TSB - so the horse and Lloyds green. ANZ relicenced these features for another couple of years, at which time they'll go.

From what it looks like the National Bank itself will still stay in New Zealand, as they do have a strong presence here, but it will look slightly different in the years to come - already the horse is slowly fading from advertising.

It's a shame, but they can't keep using it forever.

it is a shame, as i think the horse & the green was what helped make it the NB, & not the ANZ bank (no offense smw007).  Without those things, it is nothing more than the ANZ.

No offense taken! I'm now with green instead of blue anyway! It is a shame! But I do think ANZ ratings will improve in the next few years, from what I've seen going underway there'll definetly be change on the blue side, which is much needed.

green goes - so do I

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