Name change part of bank's market bid

Beirut Hellenic Bank is seeking to broaden its appeal by changing its name to Bank of Sydney, in the latest attempt by a bank to adopt a more local identity.

Beirut Hellenic Bank is seeking to broaden its appeal by changing its name to Bank of Sydney, in the latest attempt by a bank to adopt a more local identity.

Owned by Bank of Beirut, Lebanon's biggest bank, the lender says the name change is intended to reflect Sydney's role as a finance capital and help it tap into a wider customer base.

It follows Westpac's move to revive the Bank of Melbourne brand in 2011, part of a strategy it claims is winning over customers.

While Bank of Sydney also has branches in Melbourne and Adelaide, chairman Nicholas Pappas did not believe people would be deterred by the name change. In fact, he said research had suggested that some customers in Melbourne would be heartened by the decision.

Figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority show Beirut Hellenic Bank has $1.27 billion in total domestic assets.

The lender has tended to mainly serve Australians of Lebanese and Greek background, but Mr Pappas said the name change was part of a strategy to target "multicultural Australia" as a whole.

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