After 30 years, Banc One Corp. is planning to change its name to Bank One Corp.
As part of its planned merger with First Chicago NBD Corp., the Columbus, Ohio, bank holding company would take the moniker that now marks its bank subsidiaries' branches.
Banc One plans to move its administrative headquarters from Columbus to Chicago but would be officially incorporated in Delaware.
Unlike Ohio, Delaware has no restriction on companies that use the term "bank" in their names.
Banc One was established in Ohio, which does not let the word "bank" be used in the name of anything but a deposit-gathering, loan-making institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
For Banc One, the new name would cost little but clear up a common misconception, said spokesman John Russell.
The current name "certainly creates confusion," he said. "People who don't know the rule think you're misspelling it."
Though the brand is pretty well known in banking, the name was controversial to the company's board of directors when it was proposed 30 years ago, Mr. Russell said.
"It was out of context with the rest of the industry," he said. "Other companies had more traditional names."
The Ohio law dates from a piece of Depression-era legislation aimed at preventing nonbanking companies from representing themselves as banks.
Although most states have some restriction on use of the term "bank," only a handful prohibit it in holding company names, said Ellen Lamb, a spokeswoman for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.