Barclays has announced a rise in pre-tax profits rise of nearly 30 per cent.
Profits at the bank, one of the UK's big four, rocketed by 29.8 per cent in 1999 to £2.46bn from £1.89bn in 1998.
Barclays chief executive Matthew Barrett says the group will continue to cut costs and improve profitability. He started by setting a cost-cutting target of £1bn over three years as well as planning to double the number of internet customers to one million by the end of the year.
The figures exceeded analysts expectations. Commerzbank analyst James Alexander says: “Barclays is now the benchmark of the top banks.”