By Gareth Vaughan
Westpac New Zealand has no plans to follow the lead of its Australian parent, Westpac Banking Corporation, and adopt brown - in place of red- as its corporate colour.
Sydney-based banking analysts at UBS noted in a post annual results research report that Westpac's Australian results briefing last week incorporated the switch to brown. This was reflected in the group's results presentation and on the executive podium.
The UBS analysts note the colour change comes as Westpac migrates to a multi-brand strategy in Australia with the hierarchy deciding, therefore, it was no longer appropriate for the head office to maintain the red which is used for Westpac's retail and business banks. Westpac subsidiary St George uses green, its Bank of Melbourne purple, BankSA dark blue and funds management unit BT pale blue.
"Therefore it was decided to come up with a neutral colour for the head office. Brown was considered an appropriate colour," the analysts wrote.
However, a Westpac NZ spokesman told interest.co.nz there was no change to either group or retail branding or colour in New Zealand, with red to remain in vogue.
Last week Westpac NZ CEO George Frazis told interest.co.nz the bank's advertising may, however, "evolve." Frazis said Westpac's slogan, largely used internally had been 'help is what we do' for the past three years. He said this may become more prominent externally, notably in the bank's advertising. Frazis said the slogan was designed to be about being local and about customers.
"The emphasis has been more internal, making sure our bankers understand what that means - updating our training, improving our processes, opening branches," Frazis said.
"The look and feel and the advertising may evolve more to catch up on that but there's not going to be a big rebranding. Basically the red W is a fantastic brand which will continue although there has been a slight change to that," Frazis added.
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