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Tue 19 Jun 2007 02:46 PM

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Nazi connotations may see Barclays' eagle fly

The British bank would drop its logo if the takeover of Dutch bank ABN AMRO goes ahead.

Britain's Barclays Plc would drop its corporate eagle if it succeeds in taking over Dutch bank ABN AMRO due to the logo's connotations with the German eagle emblem as adopted by the Nazis, a person familiar with the matter said.

Barclays' logo bears a similarity to the Nazi version of Germany's eagle emblem and ABN AMRO is concerned how it would be received in the Netherlands, which was occupied during World War Two.

Barclays' link to the eagle dates back to 1728 when two of its founders moved to new premises in London, where there was the sign of the Black Spread Eagle. The sign has evolved over years and was softened by brand consultants in a 1999 makeover.

The German eagle is an old national symbol used by kings and emperors of the region and was part of the Imperial arms adopted when Germany was unified in 1871. During the Nazi era the national swastika symbol was held by an eagle.

Barclays could adopt ABN's shield logo for a combined group, the source said. It would keep its eagle if the ABN bid fails.

Barclays will keep its name but move headquarters to Amsterdam under its proposed 66 billion euro ($88.5 billion) takeover of ABN, which the Dutch bank's board has agreed to.

Royal Bank of Scotland is leading a rival consortium that is seeking to gatecrash the takeover and has made a higher conditional bid for ABN which would break it up between three banks.

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