EXCLUSIVE: Barclays Hires Former Capital One Boss To Lead Barclaycard UK

(The following article is an example of exclusive reporting by Alliance News journalists.)

14 Mar 2016, 13:48 GMT

LONDON (Alliance News) – Brian Cole, the former chief executive of US-based Capital One Financial Corp’s UK credit cards business, is the new chief executive officer of Barclaycard UK, a spokesperson for Barclaycard confirmed Monday.

Barclaycard is the number one card issuer in Britain with close to 11 million UK card customers, according to Barclays PLC’s annual report for 2015. A Barclaycard spokesperson confirmed Cole’s appointment, as reported by Alliance News earlier on Monday, which was his first day on the job.

Cole’s appointment marks a series of leadership changes at Barclaycard. Valerie Soranno Keating stepped down as CEO of the entire Barclaycard division last May, and was followed out the door by Barclaycard’s Consumer Europe boss David Chan. Manoj Piplani, previously managing director of UK cards, left the business earlier in 2016, the spokesperson confirmed.

The new UK cards boss will report to Amer Sajed, the interim chief executive officer of Barclaycard, and to Ashok Vaswani, the chief executive officer of the group’s ring-fenced bank, which houses the UK consumer credit card business and retail banking operations in the country.

Jes Staley, the new chief executive of Barclays, has been restructuring the group since taking on the job in December, creating two sibling divisions: the ring-fenced bank and non-ring-fenced activities. Barclaycard operations in Europe and the US fall under the non-ring-fenced bank.

Cole began his career at First Union Financial Corp in the US, before leaving for Capital One Financial, working in various roles from 1997. He went on to become the chief financial officer of the lender’s UK arm in 2005, and was promoted to the position of chief executive in 2009.

In 2013, Cole’s final year in charge, Capital One (Europe) PLC recorded a net profit of GBP107.0 million on revenue of GBP526.0 million, according to its filings with Companies House. In 2009, his first as chief executive, Capital One (Europe) made a loss of GBP14.6 million on total operating income of GBP533.5 million, hit by provisions for bad and doubtful debts of GBP321.1 million.

After leaving Capital One in July 2013, Cole went on to become the chief executive of Inspired Capital PLC, then a London-listed lender to smaller businesses in the UK, the following May. By April 30, 2015, the size of Inspired’s loan book had grown to GBP71.9 million, up 53% year on year.

In May 2015, Cole and Matt Cooper, the chairman of Inspired and the co-founder of Capital One, resigned from their posts. Their resignations came one month before Joe Lewis, the billionaire currency speculator and owner of Tottenham Hotspur football club, made a takeover offer for Inspired.

Through Bentley Park (UK) Ltd, an investment vehicle, Lewis acquired Inspired for GBP47.1 million in September 2015 and took the company private.

Shares in Barclays were down 1.1% at 164.15 pence on Monday afternoon.

By Samuel Agini; samagini@alliancenews.com; @samuelagini

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