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Barclays trebles profits as overhaul nears completion

By Holly Williams

Banking giant Barclays has said it is "just months away" from completing a swingeing overhaul as it revealed profits nearly trebled in 2016.

The lender saw group pre-tax profits surge to £3.2bn, up from £1.1bn a year earlier, thanks to a boost from its investment banking arm, as well as lower fines and mis-selling charges.

Chief executive Jes Staley, who has been offloading unwanted businesses to focus on UK and US operations, said the group had "accomplished a lot in a year".

He added: "We are now just months away from completing the restructuring of Barclays, and I am more optimistic than ever for our prospects in 2017 and beyond."

Shares rose as much as 4% after the profit cheer and as Barclays said its restructuring was ahead of plan.

And Barclays now plans to close its so-called non-core bank on June 30, six months earlier than expected.

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