Abbey’s First National starts hunt for five senior marketers

First National Bank, the Abbey National-owned finance house, is to recruit at least five senior marketers for its first group marketing department.

John Easden, previously First National’s associate marketing director, was appointed to the new role of group marketing director last week, reporting to managing director Philip George.

Easden will recruit a “team of five or more high-level experts” to work with him on a co-ordinated strategy for the group’s four divisions, which employ 90 marketing staff, each with its own marketing director.

First National offers loans for a broad range of items, which it markets through partnerships with “intermediaries” including Dixons, ScottishPower and Anglian Windows. The consumer relationship has traditionally been with the intermediary from which they buy the product, rather than the finance house which provides the loan to fund it.

Easden says: “We are looking to market ourselves more to consumers by developing a strong brand. We will target new customers by cross-selling products between our different divisions and also by encouraging intermediaries to get together.”

First National recently unveiled a new corporate identity, created by Circle Design Consultants.

The creation of the group marketing department follows First National’s acquisition last year of three businesses from Lombard, the NatWest-owned finance house.

The deal doubled the size of First National and led to a restructure of the operation into four divisions: consumer, retail, motor and business.

Helen Priestley has been appointed marketing director for the motor division. Formerly head of marketing for Bupa Hospitals, Priestley reports to Keith Horlick, executive director for motor finance.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here