ONE of Scotland’s leading financial firms has sparked controversy after announcing a radical name change.

Standard Life Aberdeen is to switch to “Abrdn plc”, which the firm says is to be pronounced “Aberdeen”.

The rebranding process will begin in the summer with the aim of creating a “digitally-enabled brand that will also be used for all the company’s client-facing businesses globally”, the Edinburgh-based company said.

The move is part of a new growth strategy, focusing on three “interrelated growth vectors” – global asset management, technology platforms for UK financial advisers and their customers, and UK savings and wealth.

The announcement was made on social media with a glitzy new video.

However, the name change has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Writer and broadcaster Simon Read commented: “Is it the most preposterous rebrand ever? (Not if you remember Royal Mail becoming ‘Consignia’)”

One Twitter user wrote: “New corporate branding guidelines: to be a successful, global, modern, digitally-enabled brand, you have to squeeze out the vowels.”

Another added: “Vowels are helpful things, they help us understand how a word is supposed to be pronounced.”

The pronunciation appears to have caused confusion, with many on social media suggesting the new name sounds like “a burden”.

Standard Life has nevertheless been bullish about the plan.

Chief executive Stephen Bird said: “Our new brand Abrdn builds on our heritage and is modern, dynamic and, most importantly, engaging for all of our client and customer channels.

“It is a highly-differentiated brand that will create unity across the business, replacing five different brand names that have each been operating independently.

“Our new name reflects the clarity of focus that the leadership team are bringing to the business as we seek to deliver sustainable growth.”