Barclays profit jumps awaiting new boss

29th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Barclays increased net profits by 43 percent in the first half as cost-cutting and higher revenue offset provisions for settling a series of scandals, the troubled British bank announced Wednesday.

Barclays, which earlier this month sacked chief executive Antony Jenkins with the bank plagued by market-rigging scandals, said profit after tax increased to £1.611 billion ($2.512 billion, 2.275 billion euros) in the six months to the end of June from £1.126 billion in the first half of 2014.

"The results reported today represent continued good progress for the business," said John McFarlane, who, in the role of executive chairman, has replaced Jenkins awaiting the appointment of a new chief executive.

"I am personally pleased with recent progress in the Investment Bank. It has generated a double-digit return," he said in Wednesday's earnings statement.

In early July, Barclays surprised markets by announcing that "new leadership" was required to accelerate an overhaul of the beleaguered group, leading to Jenkins' dismissal with immediate effect.

Jenkins replaced Bob Diamond in July 2012 -- who himself was forced to resign after the damaging Libor interest-rate fixing scandal that engulfed Barclays.

Jenkins had vowed to bring a new culture of decency to Barclays, and oversaw drastic restructuring that shrank its investment bank.

He however struggled to restore the group's damaged reputation which was tarnished also by the rigging of foreign exchange.

"We need to be much more customer and client orientated in our approach, to streamline and eliminate unnecessary and cumbersome bureaucracy, and to embed direct accountability for activities within our businesses," McFarlane said in Wednesday's statement.

"Crucially we must do this in a way which is consistent with our values, and with strong controls in place, so that we build this business in the right way."

Under Jenkins, Barclays slashed more than 19,000 jobs and recent reports suggested that it plans to axe thousands more staff across the group.

In May meanwhile, Barclays was slapped with a $2.4-billion fine by US and UK regulators for manipulation of foreign exchange trading. Five other global banks have been fined over the affair.


© 2015 AFP

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