Banks Hoist LaSalle Banner

February 11, 2005
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TROY — Standard Federal Bank will take on the name of Chicago-based LaSalle Bank sometime later this year. The combined banks will be held by LaSalle Bank Corp. and known as LaSalle Bank Midwest.

Both banks will continue to share the shield-shaped logo and green and gold corporate colors of their parent company, Netherlands-based ABN AMRO, one of the world’s largest banks.

Standard Federal operates 261 retail branches in Michigan and Indiana, while LaSalle Bank operates more than 400 branches in 23 states.

Standard Federal’s incoming CEO and Executive Vice President Mark Hoppe said he expects the transition to occur late in the second or early in the third quarter. He stressed that the move is not a merger, but rather a unifying of brands that will allow the leveraging of LaSalle Bank’s growing brand equity in the U.S. market.

“Although Standard Federal’s name will change, the bank’s long-standing commitment to the communities we serve throughout Michigan will not waiver,” Hoppe said. “Our commercial clients will continue to benefit from working with relationship bankers who have the authority to make local lending decisions. In addition, our people, products and services will not be impacted by this change.”

Standard Federal’s branches in Michigan and Indiana adopted ABN AMRO logo in October 2003, as did all LaSalle Bank branches. ABM AMRO purchased Standard Federal in 1997.

Hoppe said the management of both LaSalle and Standard Federal, not ABN AMRO, drove the decision to incorporate the two banks under one banner, primarily because of LaSalle’s stronger, more widespread brand recognition.

He acknowledged that the brand name also puts LaSalle Bank Corp. in a better position to make acquisitions, but said there are no acquisition plans on the immediate horizon.

As to why Standard Federal didn’t just adopt the LaSalle name 18 months ago, Hoppe said that on Monday ABN AMRO announced it was introducing a new global tag line, which presented a well timed opportunity to unify the LaSalle brand.

He said the transition has nothing to do with employment changes announced a few weeks ago and said no job cuts or branch closings are currently planned as a result of the transition.    

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