Barclays Warns Over U.K. Economic Uncertainty -- Update

Date : 10/25/2019 @ 12:20PM
Source : Dow Jones News
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Barclays Warns Over U.K. Economic Uncertainty -- Update

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By Margot Patrick 

Barclays PLC posted record revenue in its investment bank in the third quarter but warned that its U.K. business is feeling effects from Britain's planned departure from the European Union.

Chief Executive Jes Staley said the third quarter was its best ever for advisory and underwriting, amid a surge in stock and bond deals. He said fees spiked 24% from a year ago as the bank worked on deals for companies such as Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Germany's TeamViewer GmbH.

That helped lift revenue across Barclays' broader corporate and investment bank by 17% in the third quarter, to GBP2.62 billion ($3.36).

Activist investor Sherborne Investors has been waging a campaign to have Barclays scale back in investment banking. In response, Barclays has defended its mix of businesses, saying it aims to be resilient to market conditions by having a large U.K. retail and business bank, a New York- and London-based corporate and investment bank and U.S. credit cards. Mr. Staley on Friday said the model is working, and "allows us to weather today's macro headwinds."

In the U.K. business, he said, Brexit has dented confidence. Consumers and companies are holding on to cash instead of spending, Mr. Staley said, and companies are holding off on strategic decisions such as acquisitions. "There is clearly an economic impact from the uncertainty around Brexit," he said.

Barclays shares rose 1.7% in European trading Friday while other bank stocks were down in part because of worries over further Brexit wrangling in the U.K.

The bank overall posted a GBP292 million net loss in the third quarter, down from a GBP1.05 billion net profit last year, mainly because of a GBP1.4 billion charge to reimburse customers for payment protection insurance. Barclays and other U.K. banks are nearing the end of a yearslong program to reimburse customers who were wrongfully sold insurance on bank products, at a cost of around GBP50 billion across the sector.

Revenue across the group was GBP5.54 billion, up 8% on third quarter 2018.

After stripping out the PPI charge and other litigation costs, Barclays' net profit for the quarter was GBP1.23 billion, up from GBP1.14 billion in third quarter 2018.

Mr. Staley said Barclays is on track to meet a 9% target this year for returns on tangible equity, a closely watched measure. He said the bank continues to target a 10% ROTE for next year but has to be "realistic."

"We are highlighting the reality that interest rates are much lower and the uncertainty of Brexit continues," Mr. Staley said.

Write to Margot Patrick at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 25, 2019 07:05 ET (11:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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