Barclays profits down 25 per cent due to restructuring

Suzie Neuwirth

BARCLAYS today announced that its pre-tax profits were down 25 per cent in the first quarter, mainly due to restructuring costs.

The UK bank has set out a ‘Transform’ programme in the face of a series of scandals in recent times, which involved cutting its investment banking division, slashing jobs and reforming the bank’s culture.

Profit before tax was down to £1,786m, with costs to implement ‘Transform’ totalling £514m in the first quarter.

However, the investment banking division was up one per cent for the quarter year-on-year to £3,463m, driven by increases in equities and prime services. It was up 34 per cent on the previous quarter.

“Strategic cost management is a critical factor in delivering our commitments,” said chief executive Antony Jenkins.

“We have recognised around £500m of 'costs to achieve Transform' in the first quarter, reflecting our immediate priorities to reduce our European retail branch network in order to focus on the mass-affluent segment and on re-positioning our equities and investment banking operations in Asia and Europe.

“As indicated in the strategic review, we expect to recognise a further £500m of costs to achieve Transform in 2013.

“For the first quarter, adjusted profit before tax was £1.8bn including the costs to achieve, driven by good momentum across the businesses, particularly in the Investment Bank, Barclaycard and Wealth and Investment Management.”