Thursday 22 March 2018

Barclays first-quarter profits fall after fixed income revenues crash

Barclays' profits fell 5pc in the first quarter from a year ago after revenues fell in its fixed income business more steeply than at most rivals.

The British bank will announce on Thursday details of a plan to shrink its investment bank, and it said a change in business mix as part of that review had contributed to a 28pc tumble in investment bank revenues.

That helped knock adjusted profit before tax in the three months to the end of March down 5 percent from a year ago to £1.69bn.

Barclays said on Tuesday it had cut its costs, however, which had been a concern among investors. Operating expenses, excluding its restructuring costs, fell 12pc from a year ago to £4.2bn.

"We continue to be cautious about the trading environment in which we operate and as a consequence we remain focussed on structurally reducing the cost base in order to improve returns," Barclays said in a trading statement.

Like many rivals, Barclays' investment bank had a grim start to the year in bond and interest rate trading. It reported a 41pc crash in income in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC), which it blamed on subdued client activity, a strong comparison a year ago and the changes in its business mix.

Rival JPMorgan has warned FICC revenues have continued to be weak in the current quarter.

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