BLM banks £20m IF media brief

Intelligent Finance (IF), the Halifax-owned Internet bank, has handed its £20m media buying and planning account to Booth Lockett Makin (BLM).

Intelligent Finance (IF), the Halifax-owned Internet bank, has handed its &£20m media buying and planning account to Booth Lockett Makin (BLM).

The Media Planning Group and incumbent agency CIA Scotland also pitched for the business. CIA London’s existing work on Nationwide and the intended merger of holding company Tempus with Havas-owned Media Planning Group are thought to have contributed to the agencies’ failure to win the business.

Quantum New Media, half-owned by BLM, is thought to have played a key-role in BLM’s appointment. Quantum already works on online media planning and buying for IF.

The news coincides with the release of Halifax’s interim results yesterday (July 31). They show that IF has 190,000 account holders and &£4.4bn under management, including &£1bn in savings.

But, Halifax admitted the Internet bank will not reach its target of 500,000 customers by the end of its first year ending December 2001. Currently, it has just over 100,000.

A spokeswoman says: “It’s one of those things. When you launch, you are under pressure to meet targets, but until you get a feeling for the market it is difficult to give an accurate number.”

IF has a seven per cent share of all UK mortgage lending. The average IF mortgage is for &£95,000 compared with an industry average of &£72,000.

Halifax says it is investing &£140m in IF this year and expects it to break-even by the second half of 2003.

The Union is IF’s creative agency and it is understood that the bank has no plans to review the account.

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