Abbey wields axe in comms overhaul

Abbey has slashed 26 PR jobs as part of a restructure resulting from last year's takeover by Spanish bank Grupo Santander.

As first revealed by PRWeek.com (31 March), Abbey's 45-strong staff communications division has borne the brunt of the cuts, with 21 roles made redundant by the middle of March. Head of employee communication Sarah Larvor remains with 24 staff.

The bank has also dropped Brunswick, its retained financial communications agency of five years. A smaller corporate brief for Abbey is part of The Maitland Consultancy's work for Santander.

Abbey head of media relations Christina Mills said it had also made five of its 15-strong press office redundant, including the loss of three PR jobs through the closure of the Glasgow office, and two in London.

Abbey's investor relations department, which has three IROs, including head of investor relations Jon Burgess, is to be axed later this year, having been made largely superfluous by the delisting of the bank. Mills said four jobs were under review at Abbey's shareholder relations department.

Abbey head of PA Gazala Haq has taken the new title of head of government and community relations with responsibility for Abbey's corporate social responsibility and charitable trust.

Mills said there were 'no plans to do anything to the structure' of Abbey's comms but could not rule out that the overhaul could affect remaining staff. The director of communications is Thomas Coops.

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