The bank’s credit function - which deals with originations - and the business support function - which handles restructuring - have been brought together, with Graham Rusling now assuming responsibility for both parts of the business.
Speaking exclusively to Insolvency News, Rusling said his revised role means additional responsibility for all UK credit activity within Barclays Corporate, having been the global head of business support for the bank before that.
Rusling believes that the UK economy is witnessing more challenging conditions than 12 months ago which has led to the decision to ‘bring the credit function closer to the business’.
He explained: "12 months ago, people were looking at a more sustained recovery and there is no doubt that this has no faltered. The key trends that we are seeing are in the sectors that are closest to the consumer, which are being heavily impacted.
"The obvious sectors, if you talk to the banks, are retail, wholesale, hospitality and leisure which are very challenging because spending is not committed."
Rusling claims Barclays has not been faced with as many issues resulting from the property sector as some of its peers, which has left the bank in a healthier position and stressed that a very small part of the bank’s client base is within its business support function.
He said: "The majority of our customers are weathering the storm. What does 2012 hold for businesses? Well, you can split those into two parts. The ones we are very focussed on are those businesses which have been [operationally] restructuring themselves and had predicted a couple of flat years, but they are not coming out of it.
"These businesses are flat-lining at best and are seeing turnover fall. Plans were often made on a business growing [but] we have reached a tipping point. This is causing a lot of managers to come up with new plans."
Rusling has enjoyed a long career at Barclays to date – spanning 38 years. Over the past 20 years, he has worked in both credit and turnaround parts of the business.
* This article is taken from an article about Barclays’ business support and credit team, appearing in the November issue of Insolvency Today.
By Joe McGrath