AFP: British bank Barclays said yesterday that first-quarter profits halved after taking another £800 million (US $ 1.2 billion, 1.1 billion euros) provision mostly for costs over its alleged role in foreign excha nge market rigging.
Net profit or earnings after taxation sank 52 percent to £465 million in the three months to the end of March compared with a year earlier, Barclays said in a results statement.
Pretax profit however climbed nine percent to £1.8 billion, aided by a strong performance from its restructured investment banking division. That was in line with market expectations.
Barclays -- which was at the heart also of the 2012 Libor interbank interest-rate rigging scandal -- is being probed over the alleged rigging of foreign exchange markets, and reports suggest it could be close to a settlement with British and US regulators.
The troubled bank added yesterday that it set aside another £150 million for costs of compensating customers over the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.
“Resolving legacy conduct issues is... an important part of our plan to transform Barclays,” said Chief Executive Antony Jenkins.
“We are working hard to expedite their settlement and have taken further provisions of £800 million this quarter, primarily relating to foreign exchange.
“While we still have much to do, I am pleased with how we’ve begun 2015.”
He added: “The investment bank had a good first quarter representing a performance which is more indicative of the potential of the franchise following the repositioning undertaken last year.”
The lender added that it has now set aside a total of £2.050 billion for “investigations and litigation primarily relating to foreign exchange.”
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