Banking group CYBG hires Travelzoo's Louise Hodges in reshuffled comms function

CYBG, the owner of Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, has hired Travelzoo's Louise Hodges to the new role of head of consumer comms in a new-look communications department.

Reporting to group innovation and marketing director Helen Page, Hodges (pictured) will lead the bank's external consumer comms, corporate social responsibility and community partnership functions. She will also lead the firm’s consumer social media operations supporting the B, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank brands, the group said.

The appointment is part of a reshuffle of the comms function at CYBG following the demerger from National Australia Bank in 2016. Barry Gardner ended a six-year tenure as corporate comms director last summer amid staff cuts and a profit slump.

Gardner's role was not replaced. CYBG now operates a three-strong consumer PR team, reporting to the marketing department, and a corporate comms team of seven, reporting to the corporate development and stakeholder engagement function.

Hodges was previously head of comms at Travelzoo, responsible for global brand communications and trade marketing. Prior to Travelzoo she was APAC head of PR at Tourism Australia based in Hong Kong, and was previously director of consumer brands at Burson-Marsteller in Asia.

Page said: "CYBG is on an exciting journey, with a mission to make banking brilliantly simple and more accessible to consumers, and Louise is an excellent addition to the team.

"We have a deliberate strategy of bringing people into the bank who can provide a different perspective around how we talk to consumers and Louise’s digital experience and proven success in building consumer brands will strengthen our growing team of leaders across the company."

Hodges said: "Consumer banking is at a pivotal crossroads in terms of technology and innovation and I am hugely excited to be joining a bank right at the centre of this sea change."

CYBG gave a wide-ranging brief to Bell Pottinger in 2016, and told PRWeek last month it had decided earlier this year to end its relationship with the agency; it did so in July, prior to Bell Pottinger’s collapse into administration. The banking group is set to announce a new agency appointment imminently.

CYBG has nearly three million customers in the UK and operates 343 branches.

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