• Barclays Q1 profit halves, takes new forex charge


    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.”


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