Belfast Telegraph

Barclays profits rise 10% despite investment banking woes

The banking giant reported pre-tax profits of £3.54 billion for 2017, up from £3.23 billion in 2016.

Barclays has reported annual profits as the sector's reporting season continues.
Barclays has reported annual profits as the sector's reporting season continues.

Banking giant Barclays has posted a 10% rise in annual profits, but the haul was lower than expected as its investment bank saw earnings dive 22%.

Boss Jes Staley said it had been a year of “considerable strategic progress” as he reported pre-tax profits of £3.54 billion for 2017, up from £3.23 billion in 2016.

But “weak market conditions” for its corporate and investment bank saw profits in the division tumble to £2.1 billion last year from £2.7 billion in 2016.

Jes Staley is chief executive of Barclays (Barclays/PA)

Barclays said it set aside £1.2 billion for litigation and conduct, including £700 million for payment protection insurance (PPI), but that there were no new charges for the mis-selling scandal.

It posted an attributed loss of £1.9 billion for the year against a profit of £1.6 billion in 2016 after previously announced losses of £2.5 billion from the sale of Barclays Africa Group.

The loss also follow after a £901 million hit from President Donald Trump’s January 1 corporate tax changes in the US.

The results come after Mr Staley recently completed a group-wide restructure, having overseen a mammoth programme to offload non-core businesses in a bid to focus on core UK and US operations.

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Barclays has shed 60,000 jobs as part of the shake-up, while also selling off businesses such as the Africa arm.

Mr Staley said the group was already starting to “see some of the benefits of our work” in 2017.

He said: “We have a portfolio of profitable businesses, producing significant earnings, and have plans and investments in place to grow those earnings over time.”

He added: “Although we are only seven weeks into the first quarter, and it is too early to offer formal guidance, we are pleased with the start to the year, and in particular in the markets businesses in CIB (corporate investment banking).”

Shares in Barclays rose 4% as the bank announced a 3p-a-share dividend and announced it would more than double the payout next year, with aims to pay 6.5 pence a share.

Barclays’ annual report published alongside the results showed that Mr Staley’s total pay package fell to £3.9 million in 2017 from £4.2 million in 2016, although he was also awarded bonus shares worth £2.9 million under a three-year long-term incentive scheme.

He landed an annual bonus of £1.1 million, down from £1.3 million for 2016, while his annual salary remained at £2.4 million, but the bank said it was keeping his bonus payments “under review” while he is under investigation over an attempt to identify a whistleblower.

The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority are investigating the American’s conduct relating to the incident in 2016.

The bank’s annual report also showed that 369 employees earned more than £1 million last year, while 11 took home pay deals worth more than £5 million.

Of these, 32% are based in the UK, 61% in the US and 7% elsewhere internationally.

Staff shared out a £1.51 billion total bonus pool for 2017, down from £1.53 billion in 2016.

Press Association