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Barclays in Ireland restructures for growth Back  
Barclay’s Bank, one of the UK’s largest financial institutions, is to rebrand and refocus its Irish subsidiary, Barclays International Financial Services (Ireland) Limited. The new bank, which will remain aimed at the corporate market, will be called Barclays Bank Ireland PLC, and it will pursue an accelerated growth strategy focused on several high growth sectors including property, renewable energy, public private partnerships, leveraged finance, and treasury.
Tom McAleese

Perviously, Barclays in Ireland traded as a branch of its UK parent, but as of July 1st, it is now a licensed bank, managing director Tom McAleese told FINANCE, with a balance sheet of €2 billion. The decision was taken, says McAleese, as the bank wanted to show more commitment to the Irish market, and to develop more activities out of Ireland, including a syndication business. The bank currently employs 60 people in Dublin, and McAleese sees this growing to around 80/90 people.

The bank sees itself as complimentary to established local Irish banks, such as Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank, and will target larger indigenous firms which typically require more than one banking relationship, and those Irish firms looking to expand outside Ireland. In general, Barclays aims to provide services to companies with turnover of more than €50 million

McAleese is looking at growth of 5-6 per cent per annum, achieved both via incremental growth of existing clients and by offering more and better products to existing and new clients. He is looking to grow the bank from its current asset base of €2 billion, to around €7 billion by 2008.

As part of the development, the bank will restructure its work force into two areas, replicating the industry/sectoral mix approach to the market adopted in the UK, as well as further developing a structured finance division.

Previously, the bank focused on two areas – subsidiaries of multinationals, to whom Barclays offered operational bank management/treasury services, and the Irish corporate sector, where they provided strategic funding, debt capital markets and structured finance services. According to McAleese, the bank will now follow a sectoral approach, focusing on the following areas: Retail/wholesale; Manufacturing;
Hospitality/leisure; Telecommuncations/Technology; Financial markets; Business services/ healthcare/logistics; Media and Housing/local authorities.

The structured finance division will look at three areas – 1) property/leveraged financing, 2) infrastructural finance such as Public Private Partnership deals, and 3)environmental management, in the waste/wind farm financing arena. Leveraged financing is a new venture for Barclays in Ireland, and the bank has hired three people with expertise in this area from the UK, including Robbie O’Sullivan and Paul Donnelly, to head it up.

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