Barclays Bank has decided to drop the eagle logo that it has used for 317 years in order to appease its merger partner ABN Amro which has concerns that the logo has Nazi connotations. “It is a rather Teutonic looking eagle,” said one insider.
This isn’t strictly a private equity story, but it does highlight just how far firms will go to get a deal done.
Many in the Netherlands, which was occupied for five years by German troops during WWII, are sensitive to Nazi imagery. Though Barclays eagle predates the Nazi era by 230 years dating back to 1690 when its founding bank set up in the City of London.
Lord Janner of Braunstone, chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “I’ve been a customer of Barclays for half a century and never noticed. It has never entered my head. But the Netherlands was an occupied country and Barclays should be sensitive.”
In order to seal the £96bn deal Barclay’s has agreed to move its headquarters to Amsterdam and now to adopt the heraldic shield favoured by ABN Amro as its global logo.
How far will you guys go to get deals done in this competitive marketplace? Or is this political correctness gone mad?
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