KEB Hana to drop ‘KEB'; union cries foul

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KEB Hana to drop ‘KEB'; union cries foul

KEB Hana Bank will shorten its brand name to Hana Bank starting Feb. 3, four years after the financial brand launched.

“We noticed that customers had problems pronouncing the ‘KEB’ part of the brand, and it also was causing confusion with other banks that use similar alphabet initials,” bank officials said in a press release.

KEB Hana Bank was launched in September 2015 after Hana Financial Group acquired the beleaguered Korea Exchange Bank from Lone Star Funds and merged it with its own Hana Bank. At the time, the unionized workers at Korea Exchange Bank demanded that Hana include the acquired bank’s initials in the new name.

Labor union officials, however, said Friday they were caught off-guard by the proposed name change and argued the bank is violating the management-union agreement made back in 2015. The union official at KEB Hana Bank said it is planning to take legal action against the bank as it is a “clear disregard” of the agreement.

Bank officials believe the move will help unify the names of its financial units under Hana Financial Group, according to the press release.

“KEB Hana Bank is the only unit within Hana Financial Group that has the ‘KEB’ part instead of just Hana.

“By unifying the brand, we wanted to have the employee feel more connected and enhance brand competitiveness.”

Hana Financial Group has more than 10 units under its roof, including Hana Card, Hana Capital and Hana Saving Bank.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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