Following the acquisition of a majority shareholding of Laiki Bank (Australia) Limited by the Bank of Beirut in February 2011, the bank announced it will be known as Beirut Hellenic Bank. Customers are able to experience the new branding in existing branches across Australia including its branch in Adelaide, four branches in Melbourne and five branches in Sydney.

Beirut Hellenic Bank launched with a new logo, new signage across all its branches, new stationery and collateral and a new website. Beirut Hellenic Bank is also implementing a new advanced, user friendly and business orientated internet banking platform for all customers, which will be available from mid this year.

The transaction and new brand has been approved by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA), the Central Bank of Cyprus and the Central Bank of Lebanon.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, James Wakim, who was appointed to the role in February 2011, has led the new brand implementation. “We are proud of the new brand we have developed to represent the dawn of a new age for the bank and our customers. The re-brand provides the bank with the opportunity to become a specialist in areas where Hellenics and Lebanese alike excel, such as in small business including food services, transport and in the property investment and development sector, just to name a few. Our Overseas Relations Service will continue to support the community and act as a bridge connecting our Hellenic and Lebanese customers with their country of origin.”

The partnership of Bank of Beirut and Laiki Bank under the leadership of James Wakim has led to significant achievements over the last month including:
• Maintaining the most competitive term deposit of any Australian bank at 6.70% p.a. for
12 months
• Growing the capital of the bank by 80%
• Increasing loans and deposits to the highest they have been in the last three years;
• Establishing a correspondent banking and international trade department to handle customers’ import and export trade requirements. This will be headed by Allan Harvey, one of the most experienced international bankers in Australia;
• Recruiting at least 20% additional staff;
• Committing to open five additional branches over and above the ten existing branches before the end of 2011, with the first branch to be open in Parramatta by early July;

James Wakim continues; “The banks values are rooted in the importance of family and our customers will be able to expect more from us. Our community and staff have already shown great support in this exciting time of change. Beirut Hellenic Bank represents our commitment to provide simple, trusted and fast banking services to all our customers and continues the service we are known for with our staff truly understanding our customers’ needs and aspirations. This phase is the next step on our journey to become the premier multicultural bank in Australia. We extend a warm invitation to welcome all our customers past and present to come into their nearest branch to experience the new brand.”

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