RBS turns to Finsbury

Royal Bank of Scotland has handed its financial PR account to Finsbury - just two weeks after Roland Rudd's agency lost its long-standing account with the Lloyds Banking Group.

FD previously held the account, but it is understood that RBS’ new chairman Sir Philip Hampton was keen to appoint new advisors.

Insiders said Finsbury was in talks with RBS while still retained by Lloyds and hoped to represent both and coordinate their comms approaches towards common goals.

Lloyds, however, decided to re-pitch the account and Finsbury declined to participate. Prweek.co.uk broke the story last week that M: Communications was set to land the Lloyds brief.

It is believed that Finsbury won the account without a pitch. Finsbury will report to Andrew McLaughlin, group director of communications. Industry sources suggested the account was worth around £200-300,000 per year.

Rudd has personal friendship with Hampton and the agency has worked closely with both Hampton and recently installed chief executive Stephen Hester while they were at Sainsbury’s and British Land respectively.

Finsbury has been amongst the industry’s most influential players during the banking crisis having been the retained agency of Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and Lloyds when they were rescued by the Treasury.

Rudd has a close relationship with the Labour Government, with some industry sources speculating that these ties may have impacted Lloyds’ decision to put its account out to pitch.

RBS, Finsbury and FD all declined to comment when approached by PRWeek, although Finsbury confirmed its appointment.

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