Five questions answered on Barclays’ first quarter profit fall

What’s responsible?

Today British bank Barclays announced that its adjusted first quarter profits have fallen. We answer five questions on the banks flagging profits.

By how much has Barclays’ adjusted first quarter profits dropped by?

They’ve fallen by 25 per cent to £1.8bn.

What’s responsible for this fall in profits?

It’s party to do with the bank restructuring itself into a "Go-To" bank, which Barclays’ chief executive Antony Jenkins has described as ‘not an easy path’ but ‘the right one’ for the bank.

A £514m bill to cover the bank’s “Project Transform” plan to axe 3,700 jobs has also hindered its profits

Are they expecting any other hits this year that could further affect its profits?

Later in the year it expects a further £500m charge as part of the “Project Transformation” which will see it cut back its investment banking arm and generally overhaul the bank's culture.

Despite its intentions to revamp this section of the business, the division saw an 11% rise in profits in this quarter to £1.3bn, accounting for three quarters of the group's overall profits.

Why is Barclays making these changes?

The third biggest British bank is trying to reform its culture after Jenkins predecessor, Bob Diamond, accumulated a £290m fine for rigging Libor rates.

What were the banks profits like at the beginning of the year?

For the first three months to March, Barclays said it had a good start to the year. It recorded pre-tax profits of £1.5bn, which compares to a £525m loss in the same quarter the year before.

Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for

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For the first time in my life I have a sworn enemy – and I don’t even know her name

The cyclist, though, was enraged. “THAT’S CLEVER, ISN’T IT?” she yelled. “WALKING IN THE ROAD!”

Last month, I made an enemy. I do not say this lightly, and I certainly don’t say it with pride, as a more aggressive male might. Throughout my life I have avoided confrontation with a scrupulousness that an unkind observer would call out-and-out cowardice. A waiter could bring the wrong order, cold and crawling with maggots, and in response to “How is everything?” I’d still manage a grin and a “lovely, thanks”.

On the Underground, I’m so wary of being a bad citizen that I often give up my seat to people who aren’t pregnant, aren’t significantly older than me, and in some cases are far better equipped to stand than I am. If there’s one thing I am not, it’s any sort of provocateur. And yet now this: a feud.

And I don’t even know my enemy’s name.

She was on a bike when I accidentally entered her life. I was pushing a buggy and I wandered – rashly, in her view – into her path. There’s little doubt that I was to blame: walking on the road while in charge of a minor is not something encouraged by the Highway Code. In my defence, it was a quiet, suburban street; the cyclist was the only vehicle of any kind; and I was half a street’s length away from physically colliding with her. It was the misjudgment of a sleep-deprived parent rather than an act of malice.

The cyclist, though, was enraged. “THAT’S CLEVER, ISN’T IT?” she yelled. “WALKING IN THE ROAD!”

I was stung by what someone on The Apprentice might refer to as her negative feedback, and walked on with a redoubled sense of the parental inadequacy that is my default state even at the best of times.

A sad little incident, but a one-off, you would think. Only a week later, though, I was walking in a different part of town, this time without the toddler and engrossed in my phone. Again, I accept my culpability in crossing the road without paying due attention; again, I have to point out that it was only a “close shave” in the sense that meteorites are sometimes reported to have “narrowly missed crashing into the Earth” by 50,000 miles. It might have merited, at worst, a reproving ting of the bell. Instead came a familiar voice. “IT’S YOU AGAIN!” she yelled, wrathfully.

This time the shock brought a retort out of me, probably the harshest thing I have ever shouted at a stranger: “WHY ARE YOU SO UNPLEASANT?”

None of this is X-rated stuff, but it adds up to what I can only call a vendetta – something I never expected to pick up on the way to Waitrose. So I am writing this, as much as anything, in the spirit of rapprochement. I really believe that our third meeting, whenever it comes, can be a much happier affair. People can change. Who knows: maybe I’ll even be walking on the pavement

Mark Watson is a stand-up comedian and novelist. His most recent book, Crap at the Environment, follows his own efforts to halve his carbon footprint over one year.

This article first appeared in the 20 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, Brothers in blood