Following on from yesterday’s results from Lloyds Banking Group, it was Barclays turn to announce a significant increase in profits for the year. A tripling of profits to £3.2bn was driven primarily by an improvement in investment banking revenues, as the increased volatility in the second half of 2016 helped boost revenues, particularly in Q4.
Revenues in the international bank rose by 9%, while its UK business also saw an improvement, no doubt helped by the resilience of the UK economy, as profits improved to £1.74bn.
The bank was also helped by lower litigation and misconduct charges, reduced to £1.36bn, though the bank has yet to settle with US authorities after rejecting an offer to settle a mis-selling claim for mortgage backed securities at the end of last year, which could provide a sting in the tail later this year. This is because Deutsche and Credit Suisse settled for $7.2bn and $5.3bn respectively, which might suggest that any potential future settlement is likely to be of a similarly high amount.
US authorities instituted legal proceedings at the end of last year for $31bn worth of mortgage loans between 2005 and 2007 that turned out to be “catastrophic failures”. The US is looking to claim a sum commensurate with the sums it levied against Deutsche and Credit Suisse, while Barclays is looking at an amount of about half that.
CEO Jes Staley stated that the bank remains on track to complete its restructuring of its non-core assets by the middle of this year, ahead of schedule.
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