Egg seeks influence with first lobby chief

Online bank Egg has hired its first head of public affairs as it seeks to build a lobbying function and strengthen its campaigning work.

Ilan Jacobs joins from Consolidated Communications in January and will report to Egg director of communications Emma Byrne.

His appointment signals Egg’s intention to wield more influence in the shaping of policy at Westminster and the European Parliament.

Jacobs is a director of Consolidated’s public affairs arm. Prior to his four-year stint at the agency, he was at lobby shop LLM Communications.

One of Jacobs’s first tasks will be to lobby on the imminent Government review of the Consumer Credit Act. It is expected to rule that banks should charge consumers no more than one month’s redemption penalties on the early repayment of personal loans. Egg will apply pressure to phase them out altogether.

‘Egg sees itself as a consumer champion, determined to fight for their interests,’ Jacobs said. ‘As well as lobbying, I will be responsible for think tanks and wider stakeholder relations.’

Jacobs said he did not know whether he would have the budget to hire a public affairs agency. He added that his appointment would make the business better prepared for Government examinations of the financial services industry, such as last week’s Treasury Select Committee, in which Barclays CEO Matt Barrett admitted credit card interest rates were ‘expensive’.

Egg posted an overall pre-tax loss of £24.9m for the nine months to the end of September, it announced on Wednesday. While the UK operation showed a healthy profit, Egg’s struggling French business suffered a £69.5m pre-tax loss.

Egg has set an end-of-year deadline to find a partner to sustain the business in France as a joint venture.

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