Ogilvy Government Relations has signed on as DC representative for MoneyGram International, a leading financial services company targeting the un- and under-banked market.

The WPP unit handles matters concerning federal financial regulation, tax reform and money transmission services.

Dee Buchanan, whom Ogilvy calls the "go-to-guy" to the House Financial Services Committee, where he served as a top aide to chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tx), is a member of the OGR team.

Former Democratic staffers Moses Mercado (Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt), Tony Bullock (New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan), Dean Aguillen (California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi) and Gordon Taylor (Louisiana Representative Chris Long) join Buchanan on the business.

MoneyGram is in the financial doldrums as revenues dipped 6.5 percent to $358M during its latest financial quarter and net loss weighed in at $3M compared to a $22.5M year ago profit.

The Dallas-based company has had a tough January as US tax court rejected its plea to gain bank status in order to write off about $550M in losses triggered by the global financial collapse. The court ruled MoneyGram fails to meet even the "bare requisites" for a bank.

Wal-Mart on Jan. 20 announced the Direct2Cash service to allow customers to obtain tax refunds in cash in an effort to attract the bankless market.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. estimates nearly 30 percent of US households either have no or a minimal relationship with a bank.

MoneyGram shares tumbled on the news nearly three percent to $8.45, near their $7.55 low for the 52-week period.