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Barclays sets aside extra £800m over forex probes

Barclays has set aside a further £800m to cover the cost of investigations into foreign exchange manipulation, taking its total forex provision to almost £2.1bn.

In its interim results, published today, Barclays made a statutory pre-tax profit of £1.34bn for the first three months of the year, a fall of 26 per cent from £1.8bn for the same period last year.

Profits at the bank have been dragged down by the £800m forex rigging provision, an additional £150m that has been set aside for payment protection insurance misselling, and an £118m loss on the sale of Barclays’ Spanish business.

The figures also reflect a £429m gain on the valuation of its defined benefit pension scheme liabilities, based on using the Consumer Price Index rather than the Retail Price Index measure of inflation.

Total provisions for “legal, competition and regulatory matters” stand at £2.47bn, compared to £1.69bn as at December. This includes £2.09bn that has been set aside to cover investigations into forex manipulation and £943m for PPI redress.

Despite the fall in overall profits, Barclays’ investment banking saw profits rise 37 per cent between January and March, going from £491m to £675m.

Barclays group chief executive Anthony Jenkins says: “Resolving legacy conduct issues is an important part of our plan to transform Barclays. We are working hard to expedite their settlement and have taken further provisions of £800m this quarter, primarily relating to foreign exchange.

“While we still have much to do, I am pleased with how we’ve begun 2015.”

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