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Barclays&#39 IFAs remain weak

Barclays group has seen continued weakness in its IFA division which includes Woolwich IFA Services and Sedgwick.

Wealth management business Barclays Private Clients saw a small rise in fees and commission to £802m last year from £794m in 2002.

The group says sales of bonds and funds suffered from reduced consumer demand while sales of Legal & General life and pension products also fell.

Barclays estimates its total costs in dealing with endowment-related customer redress will reach £95m, significantly up from the £19m provision in the previous year.

The company believes the worst of its endowment-related problems are over but stresses that this depends on future numbers of complaints and stockmarket performance.

Investment management arm Bar-clays Global Investors had a record year, seeing its operating profit increase by 81 per cent to £192m from £111m in 2002. It took in £67bn in 2003, bringing its total assets under management to £598bn.

Barclays head of group PR Pam Horrell says: “The IFA business results are a reflection of the market but, as a group, we are now feeling very confident about the future.

“The beginning of 2004 feels like a whole different situation. Markets look more stable.”

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