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NAB poaches Barclay's executive, talks up UK growth prospects

NAB poaches Barclay’s executive, talks up UK growth prospects

(Australia) - The National Australia Bank (NAB) has responded to the poaching of its UK Chief by poaching a senior British banker to head its UK operations. NAB has announced the appointment of the retiring Deputy Chairman of Barclays Bank, John Stewart, to head its European operations. Stewart was formerly Chief of de-mutualised building society Woolwich, which was purchased by Barclays in 2000.

Stewart replaces Steve Targett, who quit NAB in February to join Lloyds TSB.

Talking to reporters after his appointment, Stewart said his task was to take on Britain's retail banks and create a genuine national banking force.

"This is a real building job," Stewart said.

"I want to create a national franchise and I'll do that whatever happens - through organic growth and by acquisition if the right deal comes along."

He also singled out the small and medium sized corporate market as a potential growth area through NAB's existing regional units Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank, Northern Bank in Belfast and the Dublin based National Irish Bank.

NAB is also ramping up its push into the wealth management business, launching a new service product called "Pivotal" to spark expansion.

Pivotal will provide the UK financial advisor market with access to NAB's MLC Investment Management multi manager funds.

Stewart, who is unable to take up his position until August as a result of his Barclay's contract, will be paid a base salary of 485,000 pounds a year, a 25,000 pound increase on his Barclay's salary. He will also join the NAB board.
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