CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The banking arm of ailing auto finance company GMAC is taking on a new name, hoping to smooth its image and entice new customers as it works to drive deposit growth.
GMAC Bank on Friday became Ally Bank, which will offer a variety of savings products, including no-penalty certificates of deposit, online savings accounts and money market accounts.
"We are launching a new brand with a new approach of treating customers with total transparency," GMAC Chief Executive Al de Molina said.
The company settled on the name Ally after extensive interviews with customers. "The name Ally aptly fit the character of the brand," said Sanjay Gupta, chief marketing officer.
The company has launched a website, at allybank.com, where customers can open accounts.
The re-branding of the bank, a unit of GMAC Financial Services, is a clear effort to distance it from its troubled parent, GMAC LLC. GMAC is jointly owned by automaker General Motors Corp. and an investor group led by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
GMAC was one of 10 financial firms recently ordered by the government to raise more capital. The company needs $11.5 billion, and the most likely source is the government itself. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said last week that his department was poised to offer GMAC more help.