Lloyds TSB, the UK’s largest high-street bank, is talking to
agencies about the pan-European launch account for its online venture
Saatchi & Saatchi, which handles Lloyds TSB’s main UK advertising
account, is pitching for the business, but other agencies are understood
to have been contacted about the account.
A spokeswoman for Lloyds TSB said: ’No-one has been appointed yet.
Clearly we look to our incumbent, which is Saatchi & Saatchi, but no
decision has been made yet.’
Lloyds TSB will launch Evolvebank.com in Spain this summer and in the UK
by the end of the year. There are also plans to expand in France,
Germany and Italy next year.
It is backing the project with between pounds 200 million and pounds 300
million over the next four years and aims to have 1.5 million
subscribers by 2003.
It is unclear how much the bank will put aside for advertising the
Jayne Almond, the head of the new bank, has promised that the service
will be ’the lowest-cost bank in the world’. The proposition to
customers will be low-cost banking with a high level of
Evolvebank.com will offer current accounts, deposit accounts, credit
cards and, eventually, share dealing services.
Lloyds TSB hopes that by making the service internet-only (phone calls
will be accepted only for technical help) it will not take customers
away from the retail outlets.
Lloyds TSB, which outlined its future internet plans earlier this month,
is the latest in a stream of British banks attempting to establish
themselves on the internet. The bank had come in for criticism from
investors earlier this year for being slow to join the online banking
Prudential’s Egg has about 800,000 customers, while Barclays has about
700,000 online customers. Barclays is backing its online service from
today with a campaign starring Robbie Coltrane.
New entrants to the market include Dublin-based first-e, which is backed
by an advertising campaign through J. Walter Thompson, Cahoot (from
Abbey National) and Intelligent Finance (from Halifax).