Barclays profits jump 31 per cent to £1.1bn

Weak trading performance in its investment bank

Barclays’ third-quarter profits rose 31 per cent to £1.1bn, giving the bank a profit for the nine months so far of £3.4bn.

Following the third-quarter results released today, the bank attributed the profit growth to a £932m reduction in operating expenses. But the profit figure has been lower than expected, because of weak profits in its investment banking division.

Chief executive Jes Staley described the quarter as “particularly significant” as he announced new financial targets: “The third quarter of 2017 was particularly significant for Barclays as it was the first for many years in which we have not been in some state of restructuring.”

“We now have high confidence in our capacity to assert when Barclays will start to deliver the economic performance which we know this group is capable of, and therefore today we are announcing new targets for 2019 and 2020 for Barclays,” he added.

Staley is reportedly being investigated over claims that he tried to uncover the name of a whistleblower who had written a letter raising questions about the decision to employ one of his old colleagues. Barclays has already reprimanded Staley for his conduct, but the matter is still being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Investment banking profits were down to £652m. The bank said the quarter had been a difficult one for its markets business, amid a continuing slowdown in activity in bond markets.

The bank also confirmed it was setting up a separate UK banking division to keep its day-to-day banking operations apart from the investment banking.

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