UK bank Barclays rebounds into quarterly net profit

LONDON: British bank Barclays rebounded into net profit in the first quarter, as a year-earlier heavy US fine was not repeated this time around, it said Thursday.

Profit after taxation hit £1.04 billion ($1.34 billion, 1.20 billion euros) in the three months to the end of March, Barclays said in a results statement.

That contrasted with a net loss of £764 million a year earlier, when it had faced a huge $2 billion fine to resolve a US fraud case involving mortgage derivatives sold in the run-up to the 2008 global financial crisis.

However, the lender added Thursday that underlying pre-tax profits sank ten percent to £1.5 billion, after suffering a tough quarter for investment banking.

And it warned that, if the “challenging income environment” continues, it may need to reduce costs again to meet financial returns targets.

The bank also revealed Thursday that it had cut bonus and compensation payouts across its corporate and investment bank to reflect the division’s poor showing.

Barclays, whose activities span more than 40 countries, has about 120,000 employees around the world. Its main hubs are in London and New York.- AFP