Following the recent emergence of rebranding from challenger banks as they fight for a stake in the growing specialist finance market, John Gunn, Executive Chairman of SynerGIS Capital looks at some examples, and shares his thoughts on why it must be more than just a cosmetic exercise.
‘Any modern business in a crowded market like the challenger bank space will inevitably employ every tool at their disposal – including rebrands - to differentiate themselves to new and existing customers. However, it’s important that the rebrand reflects the key differentials these banks offer – both technological and service driven - rather than a rebrand for rebrands sake.
There have been examples of forced rebrands in both the challenger and traditional banking sector. For example, the Mondo-to-Monzo name change was caused by copyright issue. In the traditional banking sector we have seen “brand de-globalisation” in reaction to the 2008 crisis. HSBC – which used to be the “world’s local bank” were at one stage looking at reviving the old Midland Bank brand in the UK. RBS brought back the William and Glyn marque for their business customers and Lloyds both divested TSB (for state-aid/competition reasons) and launched a series of adverts (“For the Journey”) which highlighted the bank’s 250-year track record (albeit missing out the 2008 section). Even the FCA spent £70,000 to rebrand it’s logo last year.
In the challenger bank space, substance over style needs to prevail. Different fonts and imagery mean different things to different people but good service, returns and access to information is what keeps customers with an institution or encourages them to switch. What’s under the bonnet is more important than the latest paint job, particularly with a technology-driven proposition.’
After over 10 years servicing institutional customers, SynerGIS Bonds mark the launch of a customer facing brand by Global Investment Strategy (UK).
‘Owing to our ability to leverage the existing technology and know-how of our parent company, GIS, we are able to invest in a diversified portfolio of high-quality investment grade secured UK-based asset-backed lending, benchmarked against Moody’s and S&P’s rating standard.
We see a considerable market opportunity because large institutions, with cheap sources of capital, lack the ability or inclination to lend quickly and flexibly, even to fund quality investment grade projects. Smaller, more specialised lenders have their hands tied by the prohibitive cost of capital.
SynerGIS offer an efficient solution to these differences in the lending market, unlocking potential available returns not yet thoroughly explored. Driven by an exceptionally talented team, SynerGIS is designed to push the boundaries in efficient asset financing, providing consumers with responsible and secure returns. This security, combined with historically low interest rates, creates a compelling opportunity for the consumer.’