Norwich Union brand to be scrapped

The Norwich Union logo is set to disappear from the high street over the next two years as part of a drive by owner Aviva to introduce global branding.

The insurance, investment and savings group already trades as Aviva in over 20 markets across Europe. As part of its drive to create an autonomous global group, it will now phase out the 200-year-old Norwich Union brand by 2010. It will also re-brand the Commercial Union Poland and Hibernian brands as Aviva.

Andrew Moss, group chief executive of Aviva, says: "For Aviva to continue to thrive we have to compete effectively on the world stage alongside our international peers.

"Creating a brand that is known across the globe is an important step in being recognised as a worldwide force in financial services."

He adds: "For our shareholders, a clear focus on delivering our 'One Aviva, twice the value' vision will drive further dividend growth and value."

It is not clear how much the re-brand will cost the Aviva.

History of the Norwich Union brand

The insurer - which has 22 million customers in the UK - started life as the Norwich General Assurance Company in 1792 by wine merchant and banker Thomas Bignold after he was unable to find insurance against the threat of highwaymen.

He renamed the firm the Norwich Union Society for the Insurance of Houses, Stock and Merchandise from Fire - or Norwich Union - in 1797.

The firm demutualised 100 years later and became the first formally mutually-owned life insurer to float on the London Stock Exchange.

In 2000, Norwich Union merged with CGU, which two years later spent £1 million to rebrand itself as Aviva.

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