Barclays sees profits fall by 7%

Barclays bank Image copyright PA

Barclays' six-monthly pre-tax profits have fallen after investment bank revenue fell.

The banking giant reported pre-tax profits of £3.35bn, hit by an 18% fall in income at its investment banking business.

Profits adjusted for exceptional items fell 7% compared with the first six months of last year.

Barclays said in May that it would cut 7,000 investment bank jobs, as part of 19,000 roles to be axed.

"Performance in the investment bank was impacted by the repositioning under way, as well as difficult trading conditions in the quarter, but it is where we expected it to be at this point," Barclays group chief executive Antony Jenkins said in a statement.

Mr Jenkins told the BBC that the group's business had been affected by foreign exchange rates, but that it was "ahead of all the targets" it set in May.

"On costs, on capital, our core businesses have all performed very well," he said. "I think it's an encouraging set of results."

The bank's performance was helped by a rise in profits in its personal and corporate banking arm, as well as its Barclaycard business.

Barclays shares rose more than 4% in early trading on Wednesday.

Analysts said the bank had beaten expectations on cost-cutting and on losses from bad debts.

In May, Barclays revealed plans to set up a "bad bank" or non-core unit to sell or run down £115bn of "risk-weighted assets", including certain types of derivatives and its entire European retail banking business.

Barclays said on Wednesday that losses from its non-core operations had reduced to £491m from £673m in the same period a year ago.

PPI and 'dark pools'

The adjusted profit figures did not include an extra £900m that the bank said it had set aside for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) mis-selling claims.

The bank said that the volume of PPI claims it had received had not gone down as quickly as it had predicted, mainly because of compensation sought by claims management companies.

Since May 2012, direct customer claims had dropped 69%, compared with a fall of 39% by claims management companies, the bank said.

Barclays is also currently embroiled in a number of legal cases, including accusations that it falsified documents and misrepresented benefits relating to its "dark pool" trading operations.

The bank has moved to have US prosecutors' claims that it invited "aggressive" high-frequency traders into its private trading pool thrown out of court.

It said on Wednesday that it was currently impractical to gauge costs that might arise from the case.

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