Barclays Bank has hired Washington Mutual veteran Deanna Oppenheimer to help with the revamp of its retail banking services in the UK.
Oppenheimer joins the bank as UK chief operating officer, taking over from Wai Au who becomes Barclays' director of global servicing.
In her 20 year tenure at Washington Mutual Oppenheimer oversaw acquisition integrations, sales and services and led the bank's marketing and advertising programme.
Furthermore, under Oppenheimer Washington Mutual won a patent in June last year for its redisigned branches, which were described as places that "create a welcoming and inviting environment for a customer" and are "in sharp contrast to traditional bank branches".
At Barclays, Oppenheimer will report to Roger Davis, UK chief executive, who is currently streamlining the bank's retail operations.
So far Davis has introduced measures such as recruiting 1000 staff to improve customer service across its branch network and re-fitting branches. Barclays has refurbished 500 branches so far and plans to spruce up more this year.
Oppenheimer will take up her new post with Barclays in the middle of October 2005.
She is the latest female US banking executive to join one of Britain's leading banks, following the appointment earlier this year by Lloyds TSB of Wells Fargo's Terri Dial.