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West Brom may rebrand to shake “tarnished” image

West Bromwich building society may be rebranded as it looks to move away from its “tarnished” reputation, according to reports.

The Birmingham Post reports chief executive Robert Sharpe as saying the society is considering an expansion into the centre of Birmingham to increase its geographical reach.

Speaking at the mutual’s AGM at the Bescott stadium in Walsall yesterday, he said: “The brand may a little tainted and tarnished and we may adopt a new name that encompasses West Bromwich but reflects the wider area.”

Sharpe also said that many of the society’s branches “look tired and need to have some money spent on them and we are going to do that”.

West Brom revealed losses of more than £39m last month as it engineered a £182m preference share scheme rescue package with its subordinated debt holders.

Chairman Dr Brian Woods Scawen also revealed he is to stand down from his position at the meeting.

Scawen told members he will stand down as chairman of the society once a suitable replacement has been found. He took the post in 2006 after two years on the West Brom board.

The Post reports that Scawen told shareholders that it has been “one of the most turbulent years” in West Brom’s history and it was the right time for him to stand down.

Scawen received a CBE in the 2008 New Year’s honours list for his work in the Midlands business community. He is a former executive chairman of the Midlands region of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He was a board member of Advantage West Midlands from its formation until 2003, and is chairman of Coventry Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership.

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