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Abbey revamp to &#39turn banking on its head&#39

Abbey National has relaunched its business in what it calls a “radical shift” in customer service.

The new line for the bank is “helping people get on top of their money” and it believes this will “turn banking on its head”. As part of the relaunch, it has dropped the word Nat-ional from its brand and is simply calling itself Abbey.

The revamp includes grouping its savings accounts into three types – Easy Reach, Put Aside and Lock Away – and will also replace its six current accounts with one account, called The Account.

Regrouping its mortgage offerings into Easy Start, Sure and Freedom, the bank believes this will mean that advice will not simply be provided to customers based on rate but also on what is right for the customer.

Leading brokers have recently challenged Abbey to get its act together, believing its products and services are uncompetitive compared with companies such as HBOS.

To make the industry more competitive, brokers believe it is important for Abbey to win back approval and market share in the sector.

Savills Private Finance director Mike Boles says he welcomes any initiative that will bring Abbey back as a core lender.

He says Abbey has been a sleeping giant which has been completely taken over by HBOS in terms of market share and competitiveness.

He says: “Rebrands are generally cosmetic. I am hoping that this one is not. They have the ability to design good products and have competitive rates but they have been resting on their laurels.”

Abbey chief executive Luqman Arnold says: “We have got a long way to go before we have fully achieved turning banking on its head but when we do, Abbey will be part of the real world, the customer&#39s world, not the baffling world of banking.”

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