Coutts Group, the international private banking business which owns
the Queen’s bankers Coutts and Co, is close to appointing an agency to
handle its global PR.
Burson-Marsteller, Shandwick, Edelman, and Hill and Knowlton will pitch
for the business later this month. The account is likely to carry a
budget close to pounds 2 millon according to one agency source.
Coutts, owned by NatWest Group, has never used external PR help on a
retained basis before although it used Fishburn Hedges on project work
late in 1996. Fishburn Hedges was asked to pitch for the new account but
declined because it lacks a global network.
Deborah Botwood-Smith, director of group corporate communications at
Coutts, said: ’This fits in with our overall communications
I came in around two years ago and have concentrated on things
We are now moving into a more active phase of communications.’
The appointed agency will work on building awareness of Coutts’
activities globally with particular emphasis on the UK, Latin America,
Asia and selected European markets. Botwood-Smith added: ’We need
external advice because a private bank needs to promote itself in
markets where it does not have a physical presence.’
Coutts offers private banking across three service areas: banking
services, trusts services and investment services. The appointed agency
is expected to work across these areas with a particular emphasis on
building Coutts’ reputation across the Far East and Latin America.
Coutts Group has 44 offices around the world, with its in-house
communications team based at its head office in London. Last year it
suffered a fall in profits of 72 per cent from pounds 105 million to
pounds 29 million because of a leap in bad debt provisions.