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Charcol going back to its original name

Charcol is to be rebranded under its original name of John Charcol.

The return to the name, follows the buyout of the firm by a team including two of the three founding directors, John Garfield and Charles Wishart, last December.

Charcol Online will remain the brand name for its online business. The site has been updated to coincide with the launch of Charcol Direct, a new phone-based advice service charging a flat fee of 199 and using a panel of 36 lenders.

Charcol Online received little investment under Bradford & Bingley over the last three years.

The change to John Charcol will appear on branch networks and marketing material next month. The rebranding will be carried out with advertising agency Masius.

Charcol marketing director Candice Hodgson says: “What we are doing is incorporating the heritage of John Charcol along with what we have achieved in recent years.

Hamptons International Mortgages managing director Kevin Duffy says: “I can certainly understand why a company’s founding father who has an emotional attachment to the brand would want to repossess the brand by attaching his first name to it but I find the move puzzling because if you look at all other areas of commercial services and commerce you are told to never go back. Imagine Abbey calling itself Abbey National again.”

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