Direct marketing agencies are lining up to pitch for a multimillion-pound centralised account from HSBC.
The banking giant's UK arm, HSBC Bank, is seeking an agency to handle an account, worth between pounds 5 million and pounds 7 million. HSBC, which uses several direct marketing agencies, wants to put most of its below-the-line business into one agency.
The pitch process is being handled through the AAR. It is thought that up to six agencies have been contacted and invited to pitch.
HSBC's direct marketing business has been handled by several agencies on a project basis. Agencies handling projects for the bank in the past have included Smith Bundy Carlson and Black Cat.
An agency source said: 'The brief implies some level of consolidation. It wants an agency to focus mainly on direct mail.'
HSBC's First Direct account, with Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, is unaffected by the review.
HSBC has 1,700 branches across the UK. Its review coincides with the review of Barclays' pounds 20 million direct marketing business, at a time when banks are attempting to forge closer relationships with customers.