Irishwoman gets key position with Barclays corporate banking unit

Helen Kelly named as head of Europe division based in Dublin

UK lender Barclays has appointed Irishwoman Helen Kelly as head of its corporate banking unit in Europe.

Ms Kelly has worked for Barclays for more than 30 years. She spent her early career in London working primarily in its UK corporate banking division.

In 2004, she moved to Dublin, where she has helped build a strong corporate banking franchise. Ms Kelly is a chartered director, a fellow of the Institute of Directors, and is actively involved with the 30% Club, the global gender-diversity initiative.

This announcement comes as Barclays continues to expand its corporate banking activities in Europe, from a base in Dublin, where Ms Kelly will be located.


Digital banking

Francesco Ceccato, chief executive of Barclays Europe, said: "Helen's appointment is an important step for Barclays Europe. It demonstrates our bench strength within the corporate bank and Helen's connectivity inside and outside Barclays will be a strong foundation on which to continue to grow our business in Europe."

Barclays has increased its physical presence in continental Europe to nine countries, and developed its digital banking platform, which has been rolled out in Ireland, Portugal, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium, and will be live in Italy later this year.

After-tax loss

In addition, Barclays Private Bank recently established a presence in France and Italy. These operations report directly to Dublin-based Pat McCormack, Barclays Europe’s head of private bank.

Accounts for Barclays Bank Ireland plc for the year to the end of December 2020 show that it recorded an after-tax loss of €118 million, a period when its balance sheet almost doubled as it transferred assets here related to its activities in the EU in the run-up to Brexit.

This was due to a higher impairment charge of €280 million, losses incurred on its Italian mortgage portfolio and certain funding costs.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times