Santander UK seeks to bring in lobbying help

Santander UK is understood to have a pitch process under way for its public affairs account.

Process: Santander has been talking with high-profile agencies
Process: Santander has been talking with high-profile agencies

The bank, which has rebranded the high street branches of Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley, is set to appoint lobbying help after holding talks with a number of high profile agencies.

PRWeek understands that a pitch process was initially launched in late 2010, but this was put on hold when UK CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio left for Lloyds in December of that year, to be followed by comms director Matthew Young.

The bank formerly used Hanover until the agency resigned the account to take on Lloyds Banking Group in late 2011. Santander is believed to have been using Brunswick on an interim basis, as part of its brief to provide strategic comms and corporate advice.

The brief centres on the bank’s UK-focused public affairs and will not include Brussels liaison, which is led out of Madrid.

Santander UK has been prevented from transferring any cash to its Spanish parent company since December, under a voluntary agreement with the Financial Services Authority.

In January, Santander handed a multi-disciplinary brief to Citigate Dewe Rogerson, with the aim of stepping up its profile among British businesses.

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