The Bank of Scotland is looking for a new PR agency after its retained
adviser Lowe Bell Financial was hired by Standard Life to support the
controversial sale of its stake in the bank.
The search follows a national newspaper admission from Sir Bruce
Pattullo, the bank’s governor, that its communications with analysts and
the press needed to improve.
The bank is seeking a broader spread of institutional investors, after
takeover fears greeted Standard Life’s announcement that it intended to
sell 29 per cent of its 31.5 per cent stake.
Iain Fiddes, the bank’s PR director, said an appointment was likely
later this summer. ‘We will be aiming very much at analysts as well as
the press,’ he said.
Referring to the ending of the bank’s relationship with Lowe Bell, which
was retained for ten years, Fiddes said: ‘I would not want to use the
words ‘conflict of interest’, but it was not right for us to continue to
use Lowe Bell.’
Lowe Bell Financial and Lowe Bell Political were hired in April by
Standard Life to handle communications issues arising from its planned
pounds 850 million sale of shares in the Bank of Scotland.