Barclays profits jump 31% to £1.1bn

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Barclays’ third-quarter profits rose 31% to £1.1bn, giving the bank a profit for the nine months so far of £3.4bn.

The bank said profits growth had been driven by a £932m reduction in operating expenses and its performance had been encouraging.

But the profit figure was less than expected, because of weak profits in its investment banking division.

These were down from £1bn to £652m. Its chief executive said the quarter had been “particularly significant”.

Jes Staley said it was the first for many years in which “we have not been in some state of restructuring”.

The bank also confirmed it was setting up a separate UK banking division to keep its day-to-day banking operations apart from the riskier investment banking, as required by new rules brought in to stop a repeat of last decade’s credit crisis.

The bank said the third quarter had been a difficult one for its markets business, amid a continuing slowdown in activity in bond markets.

Its UK banking division, however, saw an improvement in profitability and what it said was a “good underlying return” from its consumer, cards and payments business.

The results were also helped by an absence of further provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling.

In the first six months of the year, the bank set aside £700m. Its total provisions for PPI stand at £9.1bn.

That could spell the end of the PPI scandal that has blighted UK banks’ reputation and results.

Another potential cloud, specific to Barclays, involves boss Jes Staley, who is under investigation by authorities for twice trying to identify the author of a letter that raised questions about the decision to employ one of Mr Staley’s old colleagues from his JP Morgan days.

Barclays has already reprimanded Mr Staley for his conduct.

The matter is still being investigated by financial regulators the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

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