Halifax rebrand slammed for copying Monzo and Starling

Days after Halifax's attempt at a rebrand to compete with digital upstarts such as Monzo and Starling, social media users noticed that the bank's new identity may have taken the competition a little too literally.


Halifax rebrand slammed for copying Monzo and Starling


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CEO of Monzo Tom Blomfield tweeted an image of Halifax's mobile app redesign and pointed out that the card used in the advert still has the challenger bank's BIN and includes the name of a Monzo staff member. Others also took to Twitter to slam Halifax for choosing a teal-coloured card - the same colour Starling Bank use for their vertical cards.

In the rebrand by Rufus Leonard - the same company that transformed Lloyds Banking Group's look six years ago - Halifax is focusing on attracting a younger audience with a new logo and visual identity, as reported by Design Week. Ad agency Adam&EveDBB have also created a new advert which promotes the bank's mortgage offerings. 

Carlo D'Alanno, executive creative director at Rufus Leonard, reveals that he has based the brand's strategy on '"fintech meets humanity" and has drawn inspiration from the "straightforward and simple" designs of other financial technology brands. 

“We wanted it to be warm and colourful, while still being true to the brand’s blue. The horizontal lines in the logo were not robust in a digital space, they just got obliterated and were not strong or powerful. We removed the lines, generally decluttered and simplified the identity with flatness to help make it modern, clean and less fussy," D'Alanno says. 


Update: Rufus Leonard have replied to Blomfield's tweet, conceding embarrassment but insisting that the image he has posted was an early mock-up that was rejected by Halifax:

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Comments: (2)

A Finextra member 

Halifax can't (and don't have to ) know everyone else's trademark designs and fine details of UI or collateral - but they SHOULD immediately FIRE their chosen agency for irresponsible negligence and sue them for reputatipn damages.

Alex Kreger Founder & CEO at UXDA

It is a pity to see such a situation. But it makes me wonder what criteria banks use to choose a design agency, and how this can be dangerous. It is important to determine high ethics and competency standards on what financial products should be created. For our financial design agency UXDA, ethics and customer centricity are basic values, which make us a leading design agency in the financial industry.

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