American Principle Bank in San Luis Obispo, Calif., is taking on a new perspective.

The $200 million-asset bank announced Thursday that it will be rebranded American Perspective Bank after a settlement with an unidentified company in a trademark infringement case. That company agreed to shoulder a significant portion of costs associated with the California bank's name change as part of the settlement.

So why choose perspective?

Mark R. Andino, American's chief financial and operating officer, said the word perspective carries the same connotations as principle. Also, that word works within the confines of the abbreviated form of its name and its stock ticker symbol.

"Our customers know us as APB. Our ticker is APBA; we needed another 'p'," Andino said. "We like perspective, and we think we bring a different perspective to banking."

The bank, which focuses on building relationships with small businesses, opened in 2007 and has a single office. A second branch is slated to open next month in nearby Santa Maria.

Steven Reider, the president of Bancography, an aptly named bank consulting firm in Birmingham, Ala., said that a name change is never easy given the volume of other changes that must accompany it.

"A lot goes into it. Think of everything that their name is on — from the sign out front to the pen on the counter," Reider said.

Working in American's favor is its focus on small businesses. "De novos tend to have a much more one-to-one relationship base. That makes rebranding easier because customers are loyal to that banker, not the brand," Reider said.

Though he did not advise the company on the rebranding, Reider said he likes the new name.

"Perspective is an elegant solution," he said. "I can see that integrated into a good marketing campaign."

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