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Barclays profits up to £3bn

Barclays has announced pre-tax profits of £2.98bn for the first half of 2009.

The figure was 8 per cent up on the £2.75bn for the first six months of 2008 with the group’s investment banking division doubling its profits to over £1bn.

Profits in the UK retail banking sector fell by 61 per cent from £690m in 2008 to £268m, while Barclays Wealth also fell 59 per cent from £182m to £75m.

Bad debt also soared with impairment charges and other credit provisions up 86 per cent from £2.448bn in 2008 to £4.556bn in 2009.

Barclays Group chief executive John Varley says: “Notwithstanding the tumultuous events of the last two years, we have remained independent and profitable. It has been a humbling experience but we have been able to strengthen our balance sheet and have continued to invest to broaden our business base. We are a British company with an increasingly international footprint and earnings base. Our strategy has helped us weather the crisis and we want our employees, customers and shareholders alike to continue to benefit from it over time.”

By 9:43am shares in the bank had risen by 4.12 per cent to 314.5 pence.


Yield switch

For most investors, the last couple of years have been challenging so many are loathe to take risks. Risk aversion may come at a price, however, if it is predicated on false assumptions surrounding risk. The adage that government bonds are “risk-free” has been wheeled out so many times that the maxim has replaced fact.


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