TSB launches by ‘welcoming customers back to local banking’

TSB has today (9 September) returned to the UK high street backed by a £30m campaign that positions the brand as a return to the community-based deposit and lending banks of the past.

More than 600 (630)  branches have opened their doors serving more than 4.5 million customers that previously had accounts with Lloyds TSB.

It is being sold as a “local bank” with a remit to help UK “communities and customers thrive ” by offering basic deposit and lending products and services. It will not, marketing literature stresses, have an investment banking arm, partake in “overseas speculation” or “corporate finance”.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Mike Regnier, products and marketing director at TSB, claims its decision to steer clear of the practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis, its community focus and the infrastructure Lloyds Banking Group provides means its offering is “unique”.

“We have done something extraordinary [relaunching TSB]. We have built a bank for the high street and not Wall Street with a focus on doing things right,” he adds.  

The launch is being backed by cinema, outdoor, press and digital activity created by agency start-up   Joint that highlights the heritage of the 200-year old TSB brand as well as selling the “local business” proposition as a refreshing alternative in an age of distance banking and global banking groups with both wholesale and retail banking units. It will use the strapline “Welcome back to local banking”.

The animated cinema ad, for example, tells the story of how TSB was setup as “the first community bank” and how local banking developed to serve communities in the early part of the 20th century. It concludes by heralding TSB as a return to those traditions post financial crisis.

Outdoor ads will appear next to branches and attempt to communicate the bank is “fully formed”, Regnier adds with statements such as “Hello from here and 630 other places”. Targeted posters in cities across Britain will greet locals with an “hello” including tube station takeovers at London Underground stations Bank and Westminster.

To date just 4,000 customers have chosen not to switch and stay with Lloyds Bank, which will launch on the 23 September, with 1,000 unaffected Lloyds TSB customers going the other way. Regnier acknowledges that some might be concerned about switching but the banking group has attempted to make the process as simple as possible.

He adds: “It is a journey. What we are giving customers is the best of both worlds. A different kind of management and a local ethos coupled with the same systems and the same products and services.”    

Regnier will lead a 160-strong marketing team which includes former First Direct head of marketing Paul Say in the same role.

 The return of TSB to the high street for the first time since 1995 was prompted by the European Commission, which demanded the sell-off after parent Lloyds Banking Group received state aid in 2009.

TSB will be floated through an initial public offering next year after a proposed acquisition by the Co-operative Group fell through earlier this year.

Watch a Q&A with TSB CEO Paul Pester here 

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