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Banco Popular goes bilingual to include larger demographic

Bronx Times

Don’t call it Banco Popular.

After 51 years in New York, the bank is changing its name to Popular Community Bank.

Signage on the bank’s 39 city branches, including five in the Bronx, will be changed over this weekend.

All of its branches also have been remodeled and bank staffers will flash new uniforms.

“I think the name change will help reinforce the continuing reference to the name ‘popular’ founded in 1893,” said Brian Doran, director of Popular Community Bank for the New York region. “Our customers look at how Popular has been included in the community and the ties it has with the community, so I think adding “Community” really reinforces that we’ve been here for over 50 years serving the needs of our customers.”

The local name change in New York completes a nationwide re-branding that began two years ago in Illinois.

The bank’s five Bronx locations - on E. Tremont Avenue, Fordham Road, Southern Boulevard, Castle Hill Avenue, and Third Avenue - make up part of the bank’s largest and most concentrated Hispanic market.

Doran said the name change really came about as a result of several years of research dating back to 2008.

“The objective was to try to signify how the bank was continuing to evolve in the communities we were in, and decide how we can be more inclusive and not just focused on one dempographic group,” Doran said. “Over time many of our communities have changed in terms of demographic mixes.”

Customers were notified of the name change about four weeks ago by letter.

“I don’t think customers will be confused by the name change,” Doran said. “So far the reception has been very positive. When we did the name changes in Illinois and California, there really was a minimum of confusion because we really prepared our customers and gave them all the information about what was going to take place.”

Roberto Rivera, a customer at the Castle Hill branch, said he would like to see the name stay the same.

“There is no reason to change the name,” Rivera said. “I would like it to stay Banco Popular.”

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