MHP bags Payment Council bank-switch brief

A payments watchdog has called in agency help as it launches an £850m bid to improve transparency and competition between banks.

On the cards: Reforms should make it easier to change banks
On the cards: Reforms should make it easier to change banks

The Payments Council has appointed MHP as part of a broader integrated brief across the Engine Group to support its account-switching campaign.

The work comes after a pitch process and was sparked by a report about reform and regulation of the British financial system from the Independent Commission on Banking.

The brief will focus on new Government rules that make it easier for businesses and customers to switch current accounts between banks by setting standardised rules for banks to follow.

The retained work will be led creatively by MHP stablemates Partners Andrews Aldridge and should last between two and three years. Integrated planning unit Engine Strategy, launched last year, will lead strategic development for the campaign.

MHP, meanwhile, will work to spread awareness of the new rules that, among other things, force banks to switch an account within seven working days.

Lis Field, deputy head of corporate reputation at MHP, explained that the agency’s focus would be on stakeholder engagement around the move.

‘The Payments Council represents the banking industry as a whole, so there is a wide array of stakeholders involved, whether that’s ind-ividual banks, consumer groups or even the Treasury.

‘This will require clear and robust work raising awareness of the service, with a broad media mix being used to reach as wide an audience as possible. It’s ultimately about proving to people that they should trust in the new service, and that’s where public relations will really take a strong lead.’

The reforms are expected to cost £650-£850m and follow a call last year from the Independent Commission on Banking for easier, faster and safer transfer methods.

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