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Saturday 14th of November 2009
November 10, 2009    

Barclays profits down 19% on year

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by Kay Murchie

Banking giant Barclays has today announced that pre-tax profits for the first nine months of the year declined by 19% to £4.542 billion compared with the same period a year ago.

However, excluding one-off gains and losses in the period, profits soared by £2.3 billion to £4.4 billion, due to a strong performance from Barclays Capital.

Furthermore, revenues were up 26% to £23.8 billion un the period compared with a year ago.

The bank’s results come just a few days after Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) posted a £1.5 billion operating loss for the third quarter - down 60% compared with the second quarter.

RBS is now 84% owned by the taxpayers after receiving an additional £33.5 billion in state funding last week and had to write off a further £3.3 billion in bad debts and other bad investments, down from the £4.7 billion it wrote off in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile, in the third quarter, Barclays made a pre-tax profit of £1.56 billion compared with £2.8 billion in the same period last year.

Chief executive of Barclays John Varley said: “This performance shows the resilience and diversification of our portfolio of businesses.

“We have maintained strong income momentum in the third quarter, particularly in Barclays Capital and across the international activities of global retail and commercial banking, enabling us to achieve consistent profitability across the first three quarters of 2009,” added Mr Varley.

Barclays is one of the few banks that has not received any financial help from the Government, opting to go it alone last year by raising £7 billion from investors in Qatar and Abu Dhabi.

Last month, Barclays agreed to buy Standard Life Bank for £226 million. Standard Life Bank, which is the savings division of Edinburgh-based life insurance company Standard Life, has just 287,000 savings accounts, an £8.8 billion loan book and 78,000 mortgage accounts.

Furthermore, the bank recently confirmed a 3-year title sponsorship deal of the Premier League worth £82.25 million.

HSBC, which like Barclays has not received Government assistance, is due to report its third-quarter results later.

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