Barclays profits tumble on eve of big shake-up

Tim Wallace
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PLUNGING investment banking revenues dragged down Barclays’ profits in the first quarter of the year, the bank said yesterday.

The bank is due to announce a range of reforms tomorrow, which is likely to include the creation of a bad bank to run down underperforming units.

Barclays is also expected to cut back on investment banking staff after it increased bonuses for 2013 to keep a hold of its best workers, therefore it needs to take other action to bring down costs.

Adjusted pre-tax profits for the quarter came in at £1.7bn, down 5 per cent on the year.

Investment banking was a big driver of that – its profits plunged 49 per cent to £668m for the three-month period, led by falling fixed income revenues. However, some of the fall was offset by falling expenses, which dropped 16 per cent to £4.44bn.

Wealth management also saw a fall in the year, with profits down 15 per cent to £51m.

However, retail and business banking in the UK saw a strong improvement, up 20 per cent to £360m, while Barclaycard profits rose 17 per cent to £423m and African operations’ profits came in at £101m, up 25 per cent on the year.

Return on equity fell from 7.6 per cent a year ago to 6.4 per cent in the first quarter, after last year’s capital issuance.

Barclays’ Basel III capital ratio increased 37 basis points to 9.6 per cent.he bank’s shares fell 5.22 per cent.