HBOS raids Barclays for head of procurement team

Financial services giant HBOS has poached Barclays procurement officer John Durrell to head its team, sparking rumours of changes for external suppliers.

Durrell has been appointed as head of procurement for HBOS, the umbrella group that houses the Halifax and Bank of Scotland financial brands, and will take up the post later this month.

His appointment has led to industry speculation that HBOS is looking to re-evaluate its arrangements with external suppliers including its marketing services agencies, although immediate reviews are said to be unlikely.

Delaney Lund Knox Warren holds the majority of the group’s business, controlling the &£40m Halifax creative account. The agency made a star out of Halifax employee “Howard”, in a series of singing and dancing campaigns that are equally loved and loathed. Media is handled by Vizeum.

A Halifax spokesman insists no changes to agency arrangements are planned.

Durrell was previously in charge of information technology procurement at Barclays Capital. Last year it was reported that his role was being expanded to cover IT procurement across the Barclays UK group.

Procurement is an increasingly important part of agency reviews, with groups including intermediary the AAR offering courses on dealing with procurement departments.

HBOS was formed in September 2001, following the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland, and now has 22 million customers. It is the largest mortgage and savings provider in the UK.

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