NEWS: Capital One cashes in on the UK credit market

Capital One, the latest US financial services firm to lay siege to the lucrative UK credit card market, is searching for a PR agency.

Capital One, the latest US financial services firm to lay siege to the

lucrative UK credit card market, is searching for a PR agency.



The company, which is the ninth largest credit card issuer in America,

confirmed it had opened to tenders within the last couple of weeks.



A spokesman for the bank said ‘we want to find out what the value of PR

is to us at the moment’, but declined to give details of the brief.

However, it is understood it covers relations with both the personal

finance and the business press - in a bid to raise the bank’s relatively

low profile in the UK.



Known in the US for its aggressive marketing, Capital One started

targeting potential good credit risk UK customers this summer.



It is one of four American credit card companies, along with MBNA,

Advanta and First US, which have recently launched in the UK market.



The US firms, dubbed the ‘Four Tigers’ are attempting to break the

stronghold of the high street banks - which currently have almost 75 per

cent of the UK credit card market - by emphasising their comparatively

low interest rates and lack of annual fee.



Capital One launched with an introductory interest rate offer of 9.9 per

cent - less than half the standard UK rate. The company, along with the

other US entrants, operates on an invitation-only basis.



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