Magazine article Marketing

TSB Says No to Access

Magazine article Marketing

TSB Says No to Access

Article excerpt

Trustee Savings Bank (TSB) is to relaunch its international Mastercard credit card, spurring new doubts over the future of the UK brand Access.

The relaunch will be part of a complete overhaul of TSB's plastic card line-up. TSB will start promoting its Mastercard as an international brand in its won right later this year.

"Mastercard competes with Visa head-on as an international credit card," says marketing director Jan Smith. "It will be interesting to see how the main Access issuers deal with its brand presentation when they come round to redesigning their cards."

Access has traditionally been the UK brand name for Mastercard. But since the banks started to issue cards through both the Visa and Mastercard systems in 1989, Visa-linked banks like Barclays plumped for Mastercard as a second card rather than Access.

Access marketing director David Royle hotly denies that the brand faces a squeeze.

"We are partners with Mastercard," he says. "We face a challenge now, in that we are looking for a win-win situation for both of us."

Access' core supporting banks - Nat West, Midland, Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland - still claim unfaltering support for the brand, which has received close to 100m pounds in advertising support since its launch in 1972. …

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