NEW DELHI: Punjab National Bank, the country’s second largest public sector lender that is emerging from the bruising of the Nirav Modi-Mehul Choksi scandal, is looking to rebrand itself as PNB, with a new logo as it seeks to position itself as a pan-India bank.
An agency will be roped in shortly to work on new brand-positioning, sources told TOI, adding that the plan has been in the pipeline for several months but was put on the backburner after the record Rs 14,000-crore fraud at the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.
“The idea is to project the bank as a pan-India bank. With Punjab tag, some people in the South think we are a regional player even though we are the country’s second largest public sector bank. With presence in over 720 towns through 7,000 branches, we have a footprint in almost all district headquarters,” a bank executive said.
Several financial services companies and banks have opted to change their name, including SBI, LIC and Bank of Baroda. Among some of the existing players, ICICI Bank derived its name from the erstwhile financial institution Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation Of India, which was rechristened as ICICI. Similarly, IDBI Bank derives its name from Industrial Development Bank of India.
PNB has already changed its tagline to suggest that it is a large bank serving a large country. Although there is a huge difference in the scale of operations between the country’s largest lender SBI and PNB, the Delhi-headquartered bank has held its position, despite competition from Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank. PNB may be trying to give consumers a pan-India feel but northern India remains its stronghold, with majority of business emanating from this region, partly because 44-45 per cent of its branches are in this part of the country. For several years, the bank has been seeking to expand its footprint in the West and the South.