Mega merger of PSBs: What happens to their names, logo and identity?

Illustration by Binay Sinha
Branding may become one of the most debatable issues in the mega merger of public sector banks (PSBs).

Among other committees formed by banks to implement the merger is a committee on branding, which will look into the issue of logo and name of the bank, said the head of a PSB. 

“This is technically not a merger, but an amalgamation, wherein each bank maintains its unique identity. Every bank would want to retain its unique identity.  We can also discuss if the amalgamated entity should have a new logo and a new name,” said Ashok Kumar Pradhan, managing director (MD) & chief executive officer (CEO), United Bank of India. 

“There is a request from employees that the logo and identity of the bank should be preserved. We will discuss this possibility at the board level and see how much of it is doable,” said Syndicate Bank’s MD & CEO Mrutyunjay Mahapatra.

According to a senior member of the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation, one of the major concerns of bank officers is the erosion of brand value of PSBs in case of a merger. 

 

"This is technically not a merger, but an amalgamation, wherein each bank maintains its unique identity. Every bank would want to retain its unique identity.  We can also discuss if the amalgamated entity should have a new logo and a new name,"

ASHOK KUMAR PRADHAN
MD & CEO, United Bank of India

 
As a next step, the banks to be merged will form joint committees of various banking verticals constituted by general managers. The committee will be overseen by an implementing committee, which will include executive directors of the banks. The implementing committee will be headed by a steering committee comprising the chairmen and MDs of the banks. 

According to bankers, so far, about 17 to 18 committees have been formed in each of the groups of banks to be merged. About five to seven more might be needed to be formed, said a banker.

In the case of the merger of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda (BoB), the logos of all the three banks are being retained, while that of BoB retained with a prominent display with the tagline, ‘Power of Three’.   

"There is a request from employees that the logo and identity of the bank should be preserved. We will discuss this possibility at the board level and see how much of it is doable"

MRUTYUNJAY MAHAPATRA 
MD & CEO, Syndicate Bank

Under the mega merger plan announced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, 10 PSBs are being merged into four.  Punjab National Bank (PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce, and United Bank of India will combine to form the nation’s second-largest lender. Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank will amalgamate into a bank. Union Bank of India will amalgamate with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank. Indian Bank will amalgamate with Allahabad Bank. The anchor banks would be PNB, Canara Bank, Union Bank, and Indian Bank. 

The logos of all the PSBs bear a unique meaning. For example, the present logo of Allahabad Bank was originally elliptical in shape with ‘AB’ inscribed in it. It was further modified after nationalisation in 1983. The present logo symbolises the confluence of three rivers — Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati at Allahabad — where the bank was born. 

Similarly, the picture of a dog in the logo of Syndicate Bank signified reliability and friendliness. The symbol of infinity in the logo of Andhra Bank symbolises a bank that is prepared to go to any lengths for the customer. Corporation Bank’s logo has various components, namely Kamadhenu (denoting wishfulfilment), Kalpataru (eternity), Balance (justice for all), Wheel (industrial progress), and Wheatgrain (agricultural prosperity), according to the website of the bank.


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