HSBC hires Lacey to global media role with agencies expecting PR agency pitch

HSBC has appointed Barclaycard director of external comms Helen Lacey to the newly created role of head of media relations for its global retail banking and wealth management division.

Is HSBC looking to appoint a new PR agency?
Is HSBC looking to appoint a new PR agency?

Lacey started in the role toward the end of September.

Prior to joining HSBC, Lacey spent more than three years at Barclaycard, latterly as director of external comms between 2015 and 2017. Before this, she was senior PR manager at department store Debenhams between 2012 and 2014.

Lacey's appointment has put the PR industry on alert, with multiple agencies telling PRWeek they expect a pitch to be called in the coming weeks.

HSBC declined to comment.

When Bell Pottinger launched its new integrated consumer and brand division, Engage, in January this year, HSBC was named as one of its clients. It was among those that quickly distanced themselves from the agency during its rapid demise last month.

Last year HSBC moved its global corporate and public affairs account from PR agency FTI Consulting to Finsbury. However, it is believed that this account is not under review at this time. Finsbury declined to comment.

Lacey's arrival follows other senior personnel changes at the bank in the first half of the year: the appointment of a new marketing chief in April and the departure in June of external head of comms and public affairs Katja Hall.

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