German savings banks see red over Santander logo
German savings banks are demanding the Spanish bank Santander change its logo in Germany because they claim to hold a monopoly on the colour red in the domestic banking sector, they said Tuesday.
The savings banks' federation DSGV has written to Santander insisting it stop using the colour in its brochures and advertising in Germany by December 16 and dismantle the red logo from its 350 branches in the country by January 17, a spokesman said.
He was confirming a corresponding report in the daily Die Welt.
"The risk of confusion is considerable," the spokesman explained to AFP.
Each of Germany's domestic banking giants has traditionally been associated with its own different colour: blue for Deutsche Bank, yellow for Commerzbank and formerly green for Dresdner Bank, which has since been absorbed into Commerzbank.
In February this year, a court in Hamburg ruled that savings banks hold the rights to use of the colour red.
But Santander has appealed against that ruling and its petition to have the savings banks' monopoly overturned is currently being examined.
"Santander is of the firm conviction that it has a right to use the colour red as a bank in Germany," the Spanish group said in an emailed statement.
"Santander is one of the world's biggest banks and has been using the colour red all over the world since the late 1980s. Today, we have more than 14,000 branches worldwide," the statement said.
"We are surprised by DSGV's agressiveness," it added.
© 2011 AFP