NEWS: People’s Bank hunts UK agency

US-based People’s Bank is hunting for its first retained UK public relations agency as it prepares to launch into the intensely competitive credit card market.

US-based People’s Bank is hunting for its first retained UK public

relations agency as it prepares to launch into the intensely competitive

credit card market.



People’s Bank, the 28th largest credit card issuer in the States, plans

to launch a card in the UK later this year which will offer lower-than-

average interest rates and above-average credit limits.



In the US, a People’s Bank card carries an interest rate of 13.9 per

cent and the company has made no secret of its wish to enter the UK

market, undercutting rivals such as RBS Advanta - backed by the Royal

Bank of Scotland - which launched last week.



A five-member team will arrive in the UK early next month to select a PR

adviser. It will be led by senior vice president Ron Urquhart, who heads

up the bank’s operations staff in Northampton.



Three or four agencies have already been asked to pitch for a media

relations brief targeting potential customers. The chosen agency would

also be expected to position the bank as an authoritative source of

comment on credit card related issues.



‘Interest rates are becoming a major issue in the UK,’ explained

Urquhart. ‘As people become more and more educated about that it is

going to attract publicity and we want to be an independent spokesman,

like we are in the States. When people want to know something they can

call us.’



An appointment is expected by the middle of March.



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