NEWS: South Africa’s biggest bank seeks UK agency

South Africa’s biggest retail bank Amalgamated Banks of South Africa (ABSA), is trawling the City’s financial PR market for an agency to boost its corporate profile in the UK, US and the Far East.

South Africa’s biggest retail bank Amalgamated Banks of South Africa

(ABSA), is trawling the City’s financial PR market for an agency to

boost its corporate profile in the UK, US and the Far East.



The bank’s corporate affairs director Alec Hogg arrived from

Johannesburg last week to see presentations from at least six City

agencies. College Hill, Dewe Rogerson, Lowe Bell Financial, Ludgate and

Citigate are all believed to have been approached.



College Hill director Mark Garraway, who organised a one-off press

briefing for ABSA in London last year, confirmed that Hogg had visited

the agency but denied that there had been a formal pitch for a pre-

defined brief.



‘He wanted to get to know the consultancies and find out about their

capabilities,’ said Garraway. ‘The bank is the result of a number of

mergers and the time is right to market itself as a single entity.’



However, industry sources suggest the presentations were more akin to a

competitive pitch and would probably lead to the appointment of an

agency next month.



ABSA has a small base in London in the commercial banking sector, but is

keen to expand its international business over the next few years. Of

the agencies thought to have been approached three own offices in South

Africa: Citigate, Ludgate and Lowe Bell.



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