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Barclays first quarter profits fall 25%

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Barclays first quarter profits have plummeted by 25 per cent to £1.8bn as a result of the group’s restructuring programme.

In its first quarter interim statement, the bank said adjusted profit was down by £609m compared to the same period last year.

The decline in profits has been attributed to an increase in losses in its European business and a substantial levy for its new restructuring plan. The scandal hit bank set out its strategic review, dubbed “Transform” in February this year, in a bid to brand itself the “go-to” bank, the associated costs of which have totalled some £514m.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins says: “While there remains much to do to build a stronger and more resilient Barclays, we are completely focused on executing our Transform programme and are making good early progress.

“We have recognised around £500m of costs to achieve Transform in the first quarter, reflecting our immediate priorities to reduce our European retail branch network in order to focus on the mass-affluent segment and on re-positioning our equities and investment banking operations in Asia and Europe.”

Jenkins says the adjusted profit before tax was driven by good momentum across the businesses, particularly in the investment bank, Barclaycard and wealth and investment management.

Jenkins adds: “In our goal to become the ‘go-to’ bank we have not chosen an easy path for Barclays, but we have chosen the right one.”

Over the last year the bank has been hit by a number of scandals following the reign of former boss Bob Diamond, which saw Barclays hit with a £290m fine for rigging Libor rates.

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