Barclays profits rise in third quarter

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Barclays Bank.
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Profits at Barclays surged in the third quarter as the lender’s investment banking and retail divisions picked up speed.

The lender posted £1.5bn in profit before tax for the three months to 30 September, up from £1.1bn a year ago.

Net operating income was £4.9bn, up from £4.7bn.

The results are likely to ease pressure on the bank, which has faced calls to shrink its investment bank and focus on retail banking instead.

Chief executive Jes Staley said: “In spite of macro-economic uncertainty, and particularly concerns over Brexit which weigh heavily on market sentiment, 2018 is proving to be a year of delivery on our strategy at Barclays.

“We remain focused on generating improved returns, and on distributing a greater proportion of excess capital to shareholders over time.”

It’s been a hard year for the bank, whose profits were hit by litigation costs and settlements in the first half.

Sherborne, an investment firm known for shaking up companies, has also been pushing for higher returns from the investment bank and bigger payouts for shareholders.

However, in the third quarter, Barclays’ markets trading business grew by 19% to £1.2bn, suggesting boss Jes Staley’s strategy for the division is working.

Bond, currency and commodity trading activities also grew, from £627m to £688m.

Barclay’s profit figures exclude costs from litigation and fines for misconduct, which have blighted the bank in recent years.

Barclays group profits for the first nine months of the year fell in comparison with the same period last year, as it booked a £1.4bn settlement in the US over mis-selling financial products before 2008.

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