Follis has joined A&L as head of public affairs and is planning to draft in external support. ‘I will be looking to contract out a portion of the work in the next couple of months’, he said. ‘We will look to involve external agencies on specific issues as and when needs arise.’
Follis reports to A&L director of corporate communications Stuart Dawkins. A&L retains Brunswick for financial and corporate PR.
Follis’s brief involves dealing with the issue of mounting consumer debt, and liaising with organisations such as the Money Advice Trust and Citizens Advice.
He will also be expected to represent the firm on the issue of dormant bank accounts, estimated to amount to around £20m for each of the major banks. The Treasury is pressing for proceeds of accounts untouched for five years to be handed to charity. The banks by and large want to strike a compromise where they would retain some of the capital.
Follis was a political officer at Amicus, where he campaigned against the trend towards overseas outsourcing in both the UK and European parliaments. Before that, he worked at the Labour Party as a campaigns officer.
Follis replaces James Grugeon, who left in May to join anti-fuel poverty body Eaga Partnership as head of corporate affairs.