Fleet News

Swan National brand goes as firm takes on HSBC identity

ONE of the best known brands in the UK fleet industry disappeared this week as Swan National took on the global brand of its parent HSBC, with company chiefs claiming the move could spark a trebling of its fleet. Swan National will become HSBC Vehicle Finance in a development that goes much further than a name change, according to director Tim Holmes.

He said the rebranding was part of a broader process that had forged significantly closer links between the bank and its contract hire company. This is manifesting itself in the vehicle finance division's greater access to HSBC's entire customer base, both corporate and retail. 'As a separate brand we were not properly aligned with the bank,' said Holmes.

Targeting HSBC's 500,000 UK business customers will be easier with a common brand, and Holmes added that if HSBC secures the same share of the contract hire market that it enjoys in the corporate banking sector, its 61,000-strong car fleet size would treble. Closer ties with HSBC will also open new delivery channels for the vehicle finance division, such as interactive digital television.

HSBC has developed its own digital TV channel that allows customers from the comfort of their own home to manage their accounts, arrange mortgages and loans, and now obtain quotations for the CarChoice personal motoring scheme. Potential buyers can specify the car and contract duration they want, and CarChoice will then produce the quotation. If the customer is interested in the price offered, he or she can then press a button and CarChoice will follow up the enquiry with a written quotation.

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