M&C Saatchi scoops bank for the super wealthy

Coutts, banker to the super rich, with clients reputed to include

the Spice Girls, Sir Paul McCartney and almost half the England football

squad, has picked M&C Saatchi to broaden its appeal to would-be

customers.



The company, famous for its aristocratic connections, is looking to

explain itself better to people who think of it only as the Queen's

banker.



Moray MacLennan, M&C Saatchi's joint chief executive, said: "I can

confirm that we are talking to Coutts about its advertising

requirements."



The assignment bolsters the agency's link with the Royal Bank of

Scotland, the owner of Coutts and NatWest, whose pounds 30 million

creative account was consolidated in M&C Saatchi in March.



MediaCom, which handles all media buying for the RBS group, will extend

its role to cover the Coutts account, budgets for which have yet to be

agreed.



Coutts has never had an agency in its 308-year history. It began talking

to potential candidates, including WCRS, about four months ago over how

to extend its 70,000-strong customer base, serviced by 23 branches in

the UK and 16 abroad.



It is part of a restructuring programme introduced by Andrew Fisher, the

chief executive of Coutts and former Unilever marketer, who has been

nursing the bank back to profitability.



The appointment comes against a background of increasingly aggressive

rivalry in the private banking sector.



Where Coutts once enjoyed a virtual monopoly in wealth management, it

now faces competition from Goldman Sachs, which has teamed up with

Lloyds TSB, and Merrill Lynch, which has linked with HSBC, to target the

very rich.