Commercebank Gets Name Change To Mercantil Commercebank
By Wayne Tompkins
Commercebank of Coral Gables has changed its name to Mercantil Commercebank and this week is unveiling a new branding strategy that will more closely identify the bank with its holding company’s Venezuelan parent, Mercantil Servicios Financieros.
Mercantil is an 82-year-old financial services company providing banking, wealth management and insurance services through subsidiaries and representative offices in North and South America and Europe.
"We have the opportunity to communicate that the strength of our highly-respected parent company is behind the bank for the benefit of our customers," said J. Guillermo Villar, Commercebank’s president and chief executive.
Commercebank officials have insisted that the move to change its name of 25 years is not a response to potential confusion resulting from the arrival of Commerce Bank of New Jersey to Coral Gables and other parts of South Florida. Rather, Mr. Villar said, the recommendation stemmed from a three-year study by Emblem, a New York-based international branding consultant.
The Mercantil name is to be showcased not just in Coral Gables but in every affiliate of the 10 countries in which the company operates. Along with Mercantil Commercebank, newly-named affiliates include Mercantil Banco Universal in Venezuela, Mercantil Bank Switzerland and Mercantil Bank Curacao.
Mr. Villar said the rebranding allows the company to speak with "one voice" across the globe while conveying to customers that they are part of a global organization of resources and expertise. The bank has been notifying customers of the pending change for several weeks, he said.
The rebranding also "seeks to connect the global reach and power of Mercantil with … highly recognized and respected" local brands, the company said in a statement.
Gustavo Marturet, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said that the rebranding "will integrate the Mercantil name in all our subsidiaries precisely to convey our competitive advantage in the global marketplace."
The rebranding includes a new advertising campaign and logo.
Officials at the New Jersey-based Commerce Bank have said they were not greatly concerned about any brand confusion resulting from the similar names.
The New Jersey institution is being acquired by TD Bank Financial Group of Canada, raising the possibility Commerce Bank may ultimately take on a new moniker as well. That $8.5 billion deal is expected to close by April.
"It is much too early in the merger process to determine for sure, however; we are confident the Commerce brand will continue, particularly in our Florida market," said David Flaherty, spokesman for TD Bank.