IF future hangs in the balance as HBOS savings chief parachutes in

The future of Intelligent Finance (IF) looks shaky after the internet and phone bank stalled its marketing plans and called in marketing consultants.

IF owner Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) has parachuted in Halifax head of savings Nick Robinson to take up the new position of IF managing director. Industry insiders are speculating that Robinson has been brought in to sort out the future direction of the company. Rumours that IF could be reduced to a sub-brand for the internet services of HBOS have been denied by IF.

Chief executive Grenville Turner remains in his post, but the company says he will have more time to pursue his other duties as head of external sales across HBOS subsidiaries.

IF has been without a marketing chief since director of product and marketing Duncan Movassaghi resigned in June after less than a year in the job (MW June 10). He was the third marketing director in the bank’s four-year history. Ian Traynor, a freelance marketing consultant, is advising the bank.

Movassaghi was responsible for shifting IF’s &£8m advertising account from The Union to Campbell Doyle Dye, which created a TV campaign and the tagline “Until money grows on trees”.

IF was launched in 2000 by HBOS and is best known for its offset mortgage products. It broke even last year for the first time.

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