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"We are sorry": Agius apologises for Libor scandal as Barclays profits plummet

The bank announces a 71 per cent drop in statutory profits for the first half of the year.

Barclays has reported a 71 per cent fall in pre-tax profits for the half-year ended 30 June – a year-on-year drop of £1.9bn to £759m.

The British financial services provider continues to be shaken by the aftershocks of the Libor-fixing scandal, for which it was fined a record £290m by US and UK regulators. The Financial Services Authority is now investigating whether the fees Barclays paid under certain commercial agreements in 2008 were above board. Chairman Marcus Agius apologised to investors before the Treasury select committee: "We are sorry for what has happened because of recent events."

Despite the gloom, income for Barclays' investment bank increased by 4 per cent to £6.49bn, driven by improved performances in rates and commodities. Customer net interest income from the bank's retail and business banking, corporate banking and investment management divisions grew by 2 per cent to £4.9bn.

Barclaycard, meanwhile, posted an adjusted pre-tax profit of £753m (2011: £571m).

The adjusted cost-to-income ratio decreased to 61 per cent (2011: 64 per cent), while the group’s loan-to-deposit ratio continued to improve to 111 per cent (2011: 118 per cent). The liquidity pool was £170bn (2011: £152bn).

Total income was £13.12bn (2011: £15.72bn), while net operating income was £10.92bn (2011: £13.5bn). 

Agius said: 

We continue to deliver a good financial performance in the context of the current macroeconomic environment. Our competitive position continues to grow and our financial strength is serving us well in this period of uncertainty and volatility. These remain challenging times for Barclays, as well as the industry, and we are sorry for what has happened because of recent events.

However our leadership continues to focus on the delivery of our financial performance targets and on building a platform for sustainable long-term growth. Our customers and clients are at the heart of what we do. I am confident we can and will repair the reputational damage done to our business in their eyes and those of all our stakeholders.