HBOS reviews PA in bid to be ‘consumer champion’

Britain’s biggest mortgage lender HBOS is reviewing its public affairs account as it strives to be seen by politicians as a consumer champion on the issues of consumer debt and responsible lending.

Four-year incumbent agency APCO is not repitching for the account. It is understood that the bank is keen to raise awareness of its ‘transparent, value for money’ product range among policy makers.

HBOS, whose Halifax House Price Index provides media with a monthly barometer of the housing market, also wants to better promote research it does in other areas, such as savings.

In addition, HBOS is eager to bolster the profile of its HBOS Foundation corporate responsibility initiative, which funds financial literacy projects to groups deemed vulnerable or excluded from society.

The appointed agency will be expected to identify issues that arise in Westminster, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, as well as the likes of the Competition Commission, Financial Services Authority and Office of Fair Trading.

Created by Halifax’s 2001 acquisition of Bank of Scotland, HBOS has 22 million customers. Its smaller brands include Intelligent Finance and Birmingham Midshires.

HBOS general manager of group comms Shane O’Riordain is understood to be involved in the selection process.

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