Situation

A global bank was under investigation by multiple federal agencies and a Congressional committee. The bank had little Washington presence and feared the scrutiny could become a legacy issue. Further, given the political climate, there was a real threat that the bank could become a posterchild for bank scandals.

HPS was retained to:

  • Demonstrate the bank’s commitment to the letter and spirit of the law
  • Rebuild the bank’s reputation

Our Approach

HPS worked with the bank’s communications, legal, and government affairs teams to develop and execute a short and long-term response plan.

For this engagement, HPS:

  • Developed a robust fact-base and key messages for press and agency officials that supported legal team negotiations
  • Established relationships with media to educate them on the bank’s proactive reforms and inoculate potential attacks
  • Conducted rapid response during Congressional testimony
  • Created new platforms (national tour, economist briefings, and CEO speeches) to rebuild brand

Impact

HPS ensured the bank’s messages penetrated a high majority of outlets, with the CEO largely spared from personal attacks.

The bank developed new media relationships that led to positive coverage of other events and topics for the bank. Further, the bank avoided becoming a poster child for the industry and has received praise for its crisis mitigation efforts.