Belfast Telegraph

Barclays suffers dismal start to year as profits tumble

By Holly Williams

Banking giant Barclays saw profits tumble by a quarter in the first three months of the year as it was hit by tough trading in its investment banking arm.

The group posted first quarter pre-tax profits of £793m, down from £1.1bn a year earlier, as underlying profits in its corporate and investment banking business dropped 31%.

Barclays also announced talks with AnaCap Financial Partners to sell its 74-branch business in France as boss Jess Staley continues to overhaul the lender.

The group insisted its core business put in a resilient performance, with profits up 18% to £1.6bn, but said this was dragged lower by loss-making parts of the business.

Mr Staley said the results "show a core business performing well in a challenging environment". He added that moves to shed unprofitable divisions are cutting costs "which have a direct impact on our profitability today and mask the true performance of our strong core business".

"This is the work we need to complete," he said.

Barclays said it was "cautious" ahead of the June 23 referendum on European Union membership.

On second quarter trading, it said there had been little improvement for the investment banking business, with income down slightly further on a difficult first quarter, but the group added it was "too early" to comment on overall performance.

Belfast Telegraph