Lloyds Banking Group is the UK's biggest banking business by both customer accounts and branches, as well as the country's biggest mortgage lender. It operates multiple separate brands. The two most significant are the traditional retail bank Lloyds - the UK's oldest mainstream lender, founded in 1756 - and mortgage and savings bank Halifax. In Scotland, the group trades mainly under the Bank of Scotland banner, and there is also a collection of other financial services offerings within the group including pension provider Scottish Widows, credit card lender MBNA, consumer finance service Black Horse and auto fleet manager Lex Autolease. It also operates a wealth management joint venture with investment manager Schroders. The group was created in 2009 by the government-brokered merger of what was then Lloyds TSB with failing rival HBOS. That followed a quiet few years for Lloyds TSB in which that once-mighty bank had been overtaken on the global stage by a succession of more aggressive domestic rivals. The opportunity to double in size through the acquisition of HBOS seemed heaven-sent at the time, but the process was to prove far more challenging than either the government or Lloyds TSB's management team had anticipated. The gathering pace of the global financial crisis was such that Lloyds TSB required government assistance to complete the takeover, and hurried due diligence failed to anticipate the true scale of HBOS's appalling financial problems, which continued to bleed red ink throughout the year following the merger. Despite a massive cash call to investors, Lloyds remained dependent on the support of the British Treasury, which had acquired 41% of its equity. Those shares finally began to be sold in 2015. In addition, in recompense for the state aid it had received, Lloyds was forced to spin off part of its retail estate into what is now the entirely separate TSB Bank. Another continuing problem has been the fallout from mis-sold PPI insurance. Lloyds has set aside more than £20bn in compensation to customers over the past 15 years. Recovery from all these past woes was slow but was more or less complete by 2017. Total income for 2019 was £18.4bn, with net profit of £3.0bn. Antonio Horta-Osario is group chief executive.
Capsule checked 5th June 2020
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Adbrands Daily Update 15th Feb 2021: "It's A People Thing". Here's the first major work out of New Commercial Arts, the creative consultancy launched late last year by former Adam&Eve DDB head honchos James Murphy and David Golding, for founding client Halifax. It's a lovely piece of work, miles away from the mannered absurdity of some of A&E DDB's later work for that bank; especially those love em or hate em TV and movie parodies. These little snapshots of everyday life feel unforced and honest, and that casts a warm halo around the Halifax brand for the first time for many years. Nice, too, to see the return of the character of the Halifax staffer to the core of the brand's advertising. If asked, most viewers would probably cite the ads featuring real life employee Howard or the staff choir as the bank's most memorable of all time.
Adbrands Daily Update 7th Jul 2020: Lloyds CEO Antonio Horta-Osario has announced plans to step down in June 2021, which will mark his 10th anniversary as the bank's chief. No announcement has been made about his successor.
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Jun 2020: In a rare account loss, Adam&Eve DDB have surrendered the creative account for Lloyds Banking Group's Halifax brand to start-up agency New Commercial Arts. Adding a sting to the loss, NCA is the independent creative boutique launched just two weeks ago by A&E's former founders and managing partners James Murphy and David Golding. A&E DDB retains - for now at least - the rest of the Lloyds brand portfolio.
Adbrands Social Media 13th Aug 2018: Earlier this year, British bank Halifax moved on from splicing old Hanna-Barbera TV cartoons into its ads with a raid on the classic movie archives. The Wizard of Oz was the first film adulterated by Adam&Eve DDB to promote Halifax financial services. Now another family favourite - Ghostbusters -undergoes similar treatment. The digital wizardry required to combine new footage with scenes from the movie must already be hard enough. Even tougher was the airbrushing necessary to remove Bill Murray from the resulting film. Unlike Dan Aykroyd and the heirs of the late Harold Ramis, Murray was clearly unwilling to have his likeness co-opted. Who you gonna call? Bill Murray's lawyers probably.
Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: Ads of the Week "The Wizard of Halifax". If you love Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, you might want to look away at this point... You've probably already seen some of Adam&Eve DDB's past campaigns for UK bank Halifax, which have roped in characters from various Hanna-Barbera cartoons (like Top Cat, Scooby Doo and The Flintstones) and Thunderbirds. They've gone one big step further with this latest rights deal. Yes, it is some form of pop culture sacrilege, we agree. But you have to admire not just the chutzpah - to use an appropriately showbizzy term - of the concept but also the digital, um, wizardry that blends these two worlds so seamlessly. Horrible but also very very clever.
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