The news comes during a wide-ranging review of the bank’s agency roster in an attempt to reduce costs.
Pitches were held last week for the European PA brief, currently held by Fleishman-Hillard in Brussels. The agency won the account in July 2010.
Asked about the pitch process, a spokesman for Lloyds Banking Group restated what the bank told PRWeek two weeks ago about its intention to ‘simplify our supplier base’ as part of a group strategic review.
It is thought that four agencies were asked to pitch in a procurement-led process, which included an online auction where cost would be a defining factor.
The pitch comes at a time when the taxpayer-backed bank faces increasing pressure to cut costs. It reported losses of £3.5bn for 2011 on 25 February. It blamed the losses on compensating customers for mis-sold payment protection insurance and the upheavals in the eurozone.
Lloyds is currently negotiating with the Co-op, which runs a financial services division as well as a supermarket retail arm, over the sale of 632 of its bank branches.
Lloyds is being forced to sell the branches by the European Commission.
It must sell the branches by the end of 2013 to meet EU state-aid regulations after its rescue by taxpayers during the 2008 financial crisis.
In last month’s article, PRWeek revealed other Lloyds briefs that were expected to be under review.
This included the WPP-held media relations and public affairs brief for Lloyds insurance; McGarvie Morrison Media’s Scotland corporate and public affairs account; FTI’s corporate banking work; and Grayling’s private banking, wealth management and corporate markets business.