Halifax has handed the pounds 15 million launch of its internet and
telephone banking arm, Greenfield, to the Scottish agency, the
The Union has resigned the pounds 5 million Standard Life Bank business
in order to take on the Greenfield account.
Although no formal pitch was held, Greenfield spoke to agencies in
London and Scotland before making the appointment. Greenfield has also
asked the Union to handle its internet design.
Halifax, which was forced to close down its internet share-dealing site
last weekend after a security lapse, has committed substantial funds to
Greenfield over the next three years. The venture, which will target
ABC1 customers, is backed by money Halifax made when it converted from a
mutual building society into a bank in 1997.
Greenfield is expected to launch in late spring 2000. It is still in the
early stages of development and the company has only just secured its
premises in Edinburgh. Angela McIntosh, the marketing director of
Greenfield, said: ’We have a lot to do. It was important to get an
agency on board at an early stage.’
Jim Spowart, the managing director of Greenfield, said: ’This is a very
exciting but demanding project. It is clear that the Union has the depth
of experience and creative flair to deliver.’
Spowart was responsible for the launches of both Standard Life Bank and
Direct Line’s banking arm. He joined Greenfield from Standard Life Bank
in October, taking around 20 staff with him.
Ian McAteer, the managing director of the Union, said: ’The plans for
Greenfield are quite unusual. The fact that Jim has asked us to launch a
bank for the second time is a strong indication of the relationship
Bates UK, which handles the main Halifax account, was not invited to
pitch for the business.
The Union won the Standard Life Bank business in September 1997.
Creative work on the account featured people using imaginary telephone
McAteer added: ’We are sorry to be parting with Standard Life but when
we heard of the scale and nature of the opportunity with Greenfield we
had little choice.’
A media agency has yet to be appointed. Halifax said it was talking to
several agencies including Zenith.