Magazine article Marketing


Magazine article Marketing


Article excerpt

HSBC Bank is the wholly owned UK subsidiary of the international banking group, HSBC Holdings. Headquartered in London, HSBC Holdings is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. The HSBC Group's international network comprises 7000 offices in 81 countries.

Subsidiary UK operations include telephone banking service First Direct, which was launched in October 1989.

In the UK, the bank can trace its heritage back to the establishment of the Birmingham & Midland Bank in Union Street, Birmingham, in August 1836, which became the Midland Bank in 1923. The HSBC Group acquired Midland Bank for pounds 3.9bn in 1992.

The Midland Bank adopted the HSBC Group's red and white symbol as its corporate identity in January 1997 and was renamed HSBC in September 1999.First Direct was not be renamed.

January 2001 saw HSBC Holdings appoint Young & Rubicam chief Peter Stringham as head of group marketing. HSBC's global advertising, handled by Lowe Lintas & Partners, is worth pounds 150m.

In February 2001, it emerged that HSBC would focus the bulk of its marketing budget on below-the-line activity. As part of its direct marketing rethink HSBC formalised an agency roster for the first time. The key beneficiary was Rapier, appointed as the bank's lead agency.

In March 2001, Lowe Lintas won the pounds 10 million UK account for the HSBC bank in a three-way pitch against the 12-year incumbent, St Luke's, and Bates UK. The move followed Lowe's appointment to HSBC's international account in 1999. …

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