ING vs. Tangerine: two years since the Buyout

Danielle Kubes, Pretty Little Poor Girl

By Danielle Kubes,

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

I haven’t noticed many changes since Scotiabank bought out ING Direct in 2012, except for two:

  1. They changed the name to Tangerine

Why did they do this? Is it a fruit? Is it a colour? WHY? People like my parents already think ING is a fake bank that will steal all my money: calling it something as light and fluffy as Tangerine does not help my case that it is a real bank with real interest rates, and that banks with tellers and real estate are as 20th century as AOL.

I will forgive them, however, because CEO  Peter Aceto told Canadian Business that they weren’t allowed to use the name ING anymore. Here’s the rationale behind that decision:

Simplicity and innovation were two things the bank wanted to come across in its new namethe idea was to hearken back to its earlier days (being an alternative, simplified place to do your banking), but push the brand forward at the same time. The name Orange was considered on the shortlist, but was considered to be too safe or obvious of a choice. Tangerine makes reference to ING Directs orange history, (Ed Note [DK]: by orange history, do they mean just using the colour orange? How does a bank have colour history?) while also being significantly different.

Aceto says part of the branding discussion also took into account the more fun aspects of the name.

We understood the risk that a name like that could be interpreted as being silly, or not serious, he says. Banking is important, its serious. Were asking you to give us your life savings, or to help you buy a home or invest.

Thats why there wont be any references to fruit in any of Tangerines advertising materials or promotional campaigns. The fun name does a lot of work for us in sparking interest in Tangerine, Aceto says, but service at the customer level needs to be thoughtful and earnest in order to build a client base.

I want people to think, oh, theyre different. Theyre not like everyone else.


  1. tangerine-ing-direct-debit-interactThey changed the debit card by making it flimsier and WRONG

Writing the bank name horizontally across a debit card made sense when we signed for things.

Now we use a chip and PIN# method of payment. The chip is always entered vertically.

So why, on all debit cards, is the bank name still horizontal?

ING was the only card to write its name vertically, which was logical and made them seem the most current.

With the buyout, it has gone backwards and written its company name horizontally.

Also, while you can’t see this in a picture, the new card is very flimsy and bendy. It’s not really a problem but coupled with Tangerine it just kind of makes the bank seem flimsy.

Now, these are all  personal pet peeves that have no affect on how they do business; banking  with them hasn’t changed. They don’t have the best interest rates anymore; that award would go to credit unions in Western Canada, but they are still way better than the Big Five banks and they also have lower fees (no fees!) than the credit unions.

All in all, its still my favourite Canadian bank with which to do my daily banking, but it’s no longer my favourite choice with which to invest in GICs, which will be the subject of another  post.

Here’s how this article originally appeared at Danielle’s Pretty Little Poor Girl blog. And you should click on the link because apart from Danielle’s awesome slogan, she includes an extra paragraph at the bottom of her original post that further teases the good folks at Tangerine: JC.

One thought on “ING vs. Tangerine: two years since the Buyout

  1. I am not sure where you got your data but you certainly did not dig too deep.. As a former senior employee of Tangerine up until Aug the changes have been vast and broad sweeping. Everything from the CFO replacement to the firing of dozens of sales and front line people to the now charging $45.00 to transfer an account out. I mean seriously? how deeply did you look? A new CFO, head of compliance just quit, # internal compliance people were let go, call center people fired, no internal portfolio managers anymore. On the product side they are in the midst of launching a new Mastercard I mean your 2 points almost border on incompetence.

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