Gerry Byrne moves up at Santander

Banker Gerry Byrne

Irish banker Gerry Byrne has been named head of Santander Group’s European banking business, where he’ll oversee operations in its home market of Spain and in Portugal, the UK and Poland as well as a global consumer finance business.

The former AIB executive had been chairman of the supervisory board of Santander Bank Polska. That emerged from AIB’s former Polish division, Bank Zachodni, which Byrne joined in 2001.

AIB was forced to sell the Polish business in 2010 as a condition of its bailout.

Banco Santander is the largest bank in the eurozone by market capitalisation.

Mr Byrne’s appointment is part of a wider reorganisation at the Spanish banking giant.

He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, the Irish Management Institute and Institute of Bankers in Ireland. Before moving to Poland he was managing director of AIB’s then Ark Life Assurance business.