Barclays profits up despite Brexit uncertainty
Profits at Barclays surged in the third quarter as the lender’s investment banking and retail divisions picked up speed. The lender posted £1.5bn in profit before tax for the three months to 30 September, up from £1.1bn a year ago.
Boss Jes Staley said the bank was doing well, despite Brexit uncertainty “weighing heavily on market sentiment”. Income at Barclays’ markets trading business grew by 19% to £1.2bn, during the quarter.
The strong quarterly results will be welcome after a bumpy first half of the year, which saw Barclays’ profits hit by litigation costs and settlements.
Also, in March, it emerged that Edward Bramson, an investor know for shaking up companies, had taken a 5% stake in the bank. He has been pushing for higher returns from the investment bank and bigger payouts for shareholders.
Barclays group profits for the first nine months of the year fell compared with the same period last year, after it paid a £1.4bn penalty in the US over mis-selling financial products before 2008.
Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, said: “Although the bank is striving to consign these charges to history, investors will be relieved when they cease to become an important part of the narrative.”
However, he said Barclays’ fortunes were improving and its latest update was “one of promise”.
Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the lender still faced challenges.
“These latest results don’t really change the big picture at Barclays. Progress has been made, though it’s come in fits and starts, and we’d like to see greater consistency in its performance.”