LONDON: British bank Barclays said on Wednesday that first-quarter profits halved after taking another £800 million ($1.2 billion, 1.1 billion euros) provision mostly for costs over its alleged role in foreign exchange market rigging.
Net profit or earnings after taxation sank 52 percent to £465 million in the three months to the end of March compared with a year earlier, Barclays said in a results statement.
Pretax profit however climbed nine percent to £1.8 billion, aided by a strong performance from its restructured investment banking division. That was in line with market expectations.
Barclays — which was at the heart also of the 2012 Libor interbank interest-rate rigging scandal — is being probed over the alleged rigging of foreign exchange markets, and reports suggest it could be close to a settlement with British and US regulators.
The troubled bank added Wednesday that it set aside another £150 million for costs of compensating customers over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.
“Resolving legacy conduct issues is . . . an important part of our plan to transform Barclays,” said chief executive Antony Jenkins.
“We are working hard to expedite their settlement and have taken further provisions of £800 million this quarter, primarily relating to foreign exchange.
“While we still have much to do, I am pleased with how we’ve begun 2015.”
He added: “The investment bank had a good first quarter representing a performance which is more indicative of the potential of the franchise following the repositioning undertaken last year.”
The lender added that it has now set aside a total of £2.050 billion for “investigations and litigation primarily relating to foreign exchange.”