Barclays profits down by a third

Half-year profits down 33 per cent from last year.

Barclays bank has announced pre-tax profits of £2.6bn for the first half of this year, down 33 per cent from the same period last year. The decrease has partly been put down to a £1bn payout to settle claims of mis-selling payment protection insurance (PPI).

In better news for the bank, charges for bad debts fell 41 per cent on last year as a result of improvements in the way Barclays has managed its handling of troubled eurozone economies such as Portugal.

The bank has said it is looking at how to cut costs to boost future profits. Internationally, the bank employs over 147,000. Barclays is aiming to cut at least 1,400 jobs over the next six months on top of the 1,400 already cut in 2011. Chief Executive Bob Diamond made it clear that further redundancies are imminent:

You should assume this trend will continue and increase somewhat.

This news comes in light of HSBC's announcement on Monday that 25,000 job losses will be cut by 2013 on top of the 5,000 already announced. Lloyds and RBS are to report their half-year results later this week.