NatWest’s head of marketing for card services, Jeremy Nicholds, has left to join Europay International as general manager of MasterCard for the UK and Ireland.
He is understood to have left NatWest early last month and takes up his new role next week.
NatWest is the largest issuer of MasterCards in Europe, and has more than 15 million cards – including Visa and American Express cards – in use. It is in the process of being taken over by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Nicholds joined NatWest in 1995 as national marketing manager from Reuters, where he was business information marketing manager. He was promoted to head of personal cards soon afterwards.
He has spearheaded the company’s marketing strategy and has instigated major loyalty initiatives, including a travel agency, a national wine club, utility service discounts and a long-standing link-up with Air Miles.
Nicholds also oversaw Nat-West’s sports sponsorship strategy for personal cards, which last year included the Jordan Formula One motor racing team, the Cricket World Cup and the Ducati World Superbike Team.
MasterCard is an official sponsor of the Fifa World Cup, the Uefa European Championships and the Champions’ League.
MasterCard signed a &£40m distribution deal with NatWest – and rivals Midland, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland – to issue its cards, when the four banks killed off the Access brand in 1996.