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Barclays posts £3.95bn profit

Barclays has announced a £3.95bn pre-tax profit for the first half of 2010, a rise of 44 per cent from the same period last year.

Much of the gains came from Barclays investment banking arm, which posted a £3.4bn return. The bank also announced that it lent £18bn to UK households and businesses in the first six months of 2010.

Bad debts were cut by almost a third to £3.08bn from £4.6bn in the first half of 2009. Net income rose by 25 per cent from £10.8bn to £13.5bn, however operating expenses rose 21 per cent to £9.7bn, from £8bn in 2009.

Barclays chief executive John Varley says: “Against the backdrop of subdued economic and market activity and the sovereign debt storm of the second quarter, we have delivered good growth in income and profits during the first half of the year, and, at the same time as lending a further £18bn to UK households and businesses, we have kept the regulatory balance sheet under tight control. The twin benefits of a broadly based set of banking activities – both by geography and business line – and sound risk management lie behind these results.

“We recognise our wider social responsibility as an enabler of economic growth and prosperity, and our actions are – and will continue to be – informed by this duty. The period ahead will be one of great importance to the future of the industry as the final shape of the reform agenda starts to solidify. We will engage fully in that dialogue, whilst keeping our eyes firmly on the needs and interests of our customers and clients.”

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