Barclays announces strong results despite financial turmoil

| May 7, 2009 | 0 Comments

Barclays Bank has reported a 15% rise in pre-tax profits for the first three months of the year despite the financial maelstrom.

The bank posted pre-tax profits £1.37 billion, primarily due to its Barclays Capital investment banking division.

John Varley, Barclays chief executive, said the good performance “the continued benefit of diversification. We generated strong income growth across most business lines driven by the investments we have made in expanding our international network, including the purchase of Lehman“.

However, the bank said profits fell considerably at its UK retail banking business as losses on consumer loans and overdrafts grew while record low interest rates impacted on margins.

Barclays has so far turned down financial help from the Government, opting to go it alone last year by raising £7 billion from investors in Qatar and Abu Dhabi.

Furthermore, the bank has chosen not to participate in the Government‘s asset protection scheme, which insures against losses arising from toxic assets.

Last month, Barclays sold its iShares business to private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners, for £3 billion. iShares is part of Barclays Global Investors, which manages more than $1 trillion for investors around the world.

Meanwhile, nationalised rival Lloyds Banking Group has announced that despite “good progress” this year, it still expects to make a loss due to “extremely challenging market and economic conditions”.

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