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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sathapana Bank proceeds with logo change

A man passes the head office of Sathapana Bank in Phnom Penh last month, after the bank removed its corporate logo.
A man passes the head office of Sathapana Bank in Phnom Penh last month, after the bank removed its corporate logo. Pha Lina

Sathapana Bank proceeds with logo change

Sathapana Bank has pre-emptively removed its signature golden lion logo from all 162 branches nationwide as the private bank aims to deflect government criticism and avoid confusion as being identified as a state-owned institution, a bank executive said yesterday.

While a new logo has yet to be designed, Lim Aun, acting CEO of Sathapana Bank, said that the decision was not forced by a direct order by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), which advised in February that financial institutions need to avoid using a lion or riel currency symbol in their logo as these symbols appear in the logos of government bodies.

“We did not receive a direct order to change the logo, but the central bank’s announcement mentioned clearly that we needed to avoid using the golden lion,” he said. “That is why we decided to remove it.”

Aun said no timeline had been set for the bank to complete the logo change. By contrast, Acleda Bank and Prasac Microfinance hastily changed their logos last month after being singled out by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

While he declined to estimate the cost involved, Aun said the rebranding would include billboards, bank cards and other related documents. He added that Sathapana’s microfinance arm in Myanmar, which has 10 branches and one branch in Laos, would also change their logo.

“We want to have a new logo that can be easily identified by people who are not only in Cambodia, but also in other countries,” Aun said, adding that Sathapana would prefer a logo that differentiates the bank from its competitors and is more eye-catching than simple text.

In February, the government ordered Acleda Bank, Cambodia’s largest bank in terms of assets, to change its logo to better differentiate itself from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which also used a mythical golden bird for its identity. A bank official estimated the cost of the logo change at about $3.5 million.

Less than a week later, Prasac Microfinance, which used the symbol for riel currency, was ordered to replace its logo. The cost of the operation was estimated at $1 million.

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rsoubiran's picture

Here is the relevant section of law, Article 4(d) of the Trademark Law prevents registration of marks

(d)-if it is identical with, or is an imitation of or contains as an element, an armorial bearing, flag and other emblem, a name or abbreviation or initials of the name of , or official sign or hallmark adopted by, any State, intergovernmental organization or organization created by an international convention, unless authorized by the competent authority of that State or organization;

https://www.abacus-ip.com/guide-to-trademark-law-in-cambodia

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