City & Corporate: Lloyds offers corporate brief

Ten agencies vying for retained Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets account.

Lloyds Banking Group is to hold a multi-agency pitch for its corporate banking division.

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets is one of the UK's leading providers of corporate banking and is understood to be seeking a retained agency for the core components of its comms work.

The part state-owned banking giant has contacted around ten agencies to put together initial presentations.

It is thought the bank will call in a selection of corporate and financial specialists for chemistry meetings this week, with an agency aimed to be in place by the end of August.

Emile Abu-Shakra, media relations manager, wholesale banking - corporate & commercial banking, confirmed a pitch process was under way for 'certain parts of our corporate banking division', but declined to provide any more information.

An industry source said the brief represented the lion's share of corporate PR activity for the division and was worth a significant six-figure sum.

Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets has been named Corporate Bank of the Year for the past six years at the FDs' Excellence Awards and provides banking services for a range of companies, from privately owned firms to multinationals and financial institutions.

The pitch follows a similar process in Lloyds' insurance division, which last month handed a WPP-led coalition of agencies its corporate media relations and public affairs accounts. Cohn & Wolfe and Burson-Marsteller won the bank's life, pensions and investments PR work, with Glasgow-based agency McGarvie Morrison Media handling corporate and public affairs in Scotland.

The repitches coincide with previous comms head Shane O'Riordain stepping down following a restructure of the bank's comms requirements. His post was taken by former ITV comms chief Brigitte Trafford at the beginning of July.

Lloyds Banking Group uses M:Communications for retained group-level financial and corporate comms, which is unaffected by this review.

Lloyds and Halifax Bank of Scotland merged in 2008 to rescue troubled HBOS, although media speculation this week claims the Government could forcibly unwind the merger if an investigation finds it has damaged competition in the sector. Last week, Lloyds announced first-half profits of £1.6bn, double what was predicted by analysts.

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