Barclays revealed this morning that its profits had shot up during 2016, and announced it would close down its non-core unit earlier than planned.
The banking giant reported a profit before tax of £3.2bn, up 182 per cent from £1.1bn in 2015.
However, the figure missed the analysts' consensus, which had predicted profits before tax of just shy of £4bn.
Net operating income for the year slipped to £19.1bn, down six per cent on last year's £20.3bn.
The bank also cut its litigation and conduct costs for the year, which fell 69 per cent to £1.4bn, down from £4.4bn the year before.
Of the 2016 conduct charges, £1bn related to additional payment protection insurance (PPI) costs, which were announced in the second and third quarters of the year. However, this is sharply down on the £2.8bn PPI cost the firm the year before.
Barclays' common equity tier 1 capital ratio improved to 12.4 per cent by the end of 2016, compared with 11.4 per cent at the end of 2015. However, in a bid to bolster its capital, the bank cut its total dividend for the year from 6.5p to just 3p.
Shares in the group rose by more than two per cent at the open.
Why it's interesting
Barclays has been working hard to whittle down its non-core assets, which have been weighing down its financial performance for some time now.
The bank announced today it intends to close down its non-core division, which was set up in 2014 to house all the assets that no longer fit into the bank's plans for the future, in June, six months earlier than originally planned.
While the bank's core business performed well during the year, bringing in a profit before tax of £6bn, non-core continued to dragged figures down, with a loss before tax of £2.8bn.
Like all of the UK's big banks, Barclays has been stung by legal costs in the years following the financial crisis, including shelling out billions for PPI.
While lenders had likely hoped PPI costs were mostly behind them, the Financial Conduct Authority announced last August it was considering a deadline for complaints of June 2019, not spring of 2018 as had previously been proposed, causing banks to continue topping up their provisions.
It has been previously reported that the bank is planning to establish its EU headquarters in Dublin to make sure it can continue to serve customers following Brexit.
However, the bank today noted it did not have any firm plans for Brexit yet.
"We haven't made any decisions for any significant movements," group chief executive Jes Staley said on a conference call, adding he believed London would continue to be the "financial centre for Europe".
What Barclays said
Staley also said:
We have accomplished a lot in a year, and I am thankful to each and every one of our colleagues who have made this possible. Their efforts mean that, in 2017, we can begin to move on from the restructuring of Barclays, shifting our focus solely to the future, and in particular to how we can generate attractive, sustainable, and distributable returns for our shareholders.