City & Corporate: Standard Chartered turns to Maitland

Scandal-hit bank Standard Chartered has brought in Maitland as its corporate comms adviser, splitting with RLM Finsbury after a decade.

The appointment comes as Standard Chartered is embroiled in an international scandal after US regulators accused the bank of hiding $250bn (£160bn) of transactions with the government of Iran.

Standard Chartered later released a statement saying the bank 'strongly rejects the position or the portrayal of facts as set out in the order issued by the New York State Department of Financial Services'. The bank is said to be in talks with US regulators to reach an early settlement over the charges.

Although Maitland's appointment was confirmed in the days following the affair, PRWeek broke the news that the UK-listed banking group was reviewing its retained financial comms account (PRWeek 4 May).

Maitland won the brief via a large-scale competitive pitch process, understood to have included submissions from more than ten City agencies.

Finsbury's previous account with Standard Chartered was thought to have been worth about £250,000 a year in retained fees. Maitland is understood to be on a significantly smaller retainer, with its brief centred on senior-level strategic comms advice. Maitland confirmed its appointment in a statement, which read: 'Maitland will support Standard Chartered's in-house team in building a stronger and consistent corporate narrative, broadening and further differentiating its reputation among corporate audiences.'

Maitland CEO Neil Bennett will lead the account, alongside partner George Trefgarne and consultant Andy Donald.

Last month, Maitland was called in by former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond to handle his personal PR following his resignation from the bank after the Libor trading scandal.

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