HUME Building Society has been relaunched as Hume Bank to applause from staff.
Signs at the 19 Hume branches were unveiled on Monday night and yesterday morning after 40 to 50 staff spent months changing all references to the building society.
Chief executive Andrew Saxby said the name change had been raised as an idea in 1999 and seriously considered in the past two to three years.
“It’s a change of name to more accurately describe what we do,” he said.
“Since we formed in 1955 we’ve changed our name on a number of occasions, from Hume Permanent Society to Hume Building Society.
“The change to Hume Bank is clearly the most significant change we’ve made, but it’s just that — a change in name.
“We continue to be customer-owned and that’s the critical thing.
“We’ve been very conscious and clear in our message that we’re not going to issue shares.”
The business’ IT team has changed every document in its computer system, and ATMs started issuing receipts with the new name yesterday.
“Locally, everyone knows what Hume is,” Mr Saxby said, “we’ve been here for 59 years.”
“When we expanded to Wangaratta we had to have a conversation about building societies.
“When we went to Wagga, they hadn’t had a building society for about 20 years so we had to have a conversation with the public.
“The word bank just makes that conversation so much easier, and that’s the reason for the change.”
Mr Saxby said the business, which has about 58,000 customers, 130 staff and seven directors, had long-term expansion plans.
“Hopefully the name change will attract and appeal to more customers before we look to expand further,” he said.
“It’s a couple of years before we will look to expand.”
Chairman Michael Gobel called the change “an incredible achievement”.