Belfast Telegraph

Barclays claims leaving EU would be bad for its customers

By Ben Woods

Barclays has waded in to the debate over Britain's membership of the European Union, claiming a Brexit would leave customers worse off.

The chairman of the banking giant, John McFarlane, insisted that the UK and international economy was "enhanced" by Britain remaining a member of the EU.

The bank yesterday reported a fall in annual profits as it announced a group-wide shake-up and took a further hit for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling. Barclays posted underlying pre-tax profits down 2% to £5.4bn.

The results came as it said it would split the group into two divisions - Barclays UK and Barclays Corporate and International - and "sell down" its stake in its Africa business over the next two to three years. Chairman John McFarlane's pro-EU comments came as insurer Legal & General said it had not taken a view on whether Britain should stay in Europe, but said that the current economic case for leaving was "unproven".

Barclays' stance will be seen as a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron, who is campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU ahead of the referendum on Thursday, June 23.

The Prime Minister has already won support from a number of national corporate heavyweights, such as Shell, BAE Systems, BT and Rio Tinto after the chairmen and chief executives from around 30 FTSE companies urged Britain to stay in Europe.

Mr McFarlane said that it was in the interest of Barclays' "customers and clients for the UK to remain in the EU".

Belfast Telegraph