Compensation Scheme invites bids for £1.5m comms contract

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is seeking an agency to handle its PR, public affairs and stakeholder relations, in a three year account worth £1.5m.

The FSCS is offering a £1.5m contract for PR and public affairs services
The FSCS is offering a £1.5m contract for PR and public affairs services

The FSCS is a statutory body that was set up by the Government in 2001. Funded by the financial sector, it compensates people when financial firms fail, and paid out £527m in compensation in 2019-20.

The organisation’s plan and budget for 2021-22, released last month, stated: “Improving consumer awareness of financial products and FSCS protection will lead to better outcomes for consumers and the industry.”

Its tender notice, published last week, outlines how the FSCS is looking for “a big-thinking, strategic single partner to help define and deliver our public relations, public affairs and stakeholder relationship strategy”.

It adds: “The strategy will transform the way we communicate with our external audiences, building both awareness and advocacy and driving the right outcomes for all audiences.”

This comes after a major restructure of the organisation last April, in which its comms and marketing teams merged – bringing together PR, stakeholder relations, public affairs, regulatory policy, international liaison and research, and marketing. The FSCS currently uses Hanover.

Social and media monitoring and management, events, crisis management comms and media training are among the areas the FSCS contract will cover. 

The successful agency will be expected to help “create a strategic roadmap, built on research and insights, that transforms the way we engage and communicate with key audiences”.

The organisation's audiences include “consumers, authorised financial services firms, consumer organisations, the media, trade bodies, regulators, MPs and government bodies, as well as FSCS' international counterparts”.

The closing date for bids is 8 March and shortlisted agencies will be contacted from 24 March. The FSCS is looking to choose from a shortlist of between three and five firms. The contract is due to start at the start of July and run until the end of June 2024.

Whichever agency is apppointed will be expected to “be ready to step in and get involved when things get tough” and help the FSCS “define measurements of success”, as well as delivering “the best outcomes for all our audiences”.

Three years ago, the FSCS launched a major comms review to seek agency support to raise its profile.

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