Barclays comms revamp signals global intentions

Barclays has overhauled its group-wide internal comms as it aspires to widen its international reach in the financial services industry.

The group has set up a new 'cluster' comms structure under recently arrived corporate affairs director Stephen Whitehead.

Three new heads of comms roles have been created to support Barclays' UK banking, international retail and commercial banking, and 'wealth' divisions.

Washington Mutual comms director Sara Moorehead took up the post of UK banking comms director two weeks ago. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Africa head of corporate affairs Audrey Mpunzwana became Barclays communications director for international retail and commercial banking before Christmas.

Barclays is yet to appoint a director of communications for its wealth division, which comprises private banking arms Barclays Stockbrokers and Gerrards Stockbrokers.

Whitehead said the three 'cluster' heads would enable the Barclays group to 'move away from centralisation' as it adopts a more
international structure.

Currently Barclays, which also owns Barclaycard and investment arm Barclays Capital, generates 40 per cent of its profits from outside the UK.

Following its re-entry into South Africa through the acquisition of Absa Bank last year, Barclays hopes to claim half its profits from overseas.

Barclays is also recruiting for other PR roles, the most senior of which is a head of group public affairs. Public policy director Mike Davis is retiring at the end of June after 32 years with the group.

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