Barclays warns on need to slash costs as profits fall
Banking giant Barclays has warned it may need to slash costs further in 2019 as it reported a 10pc fall in underlying pre-tax profits to £1.5bn (€1.7bn) for the first three months of the year.
On a bottom-line basis, the group swung to a £1.5bn pre-tax profit, from losses of £236m a year earlier, when it was hit by around £2bn of conduct and litigation charges.
The bank suffered a tough first quarter for its investment banking arm, with underlying pre-tax profits in its international division tumbling 20pc to £1.14bn and income slumping 6pc to £3.6bn.
The corporate and investment banking business saw a slowdown in trading, but this was partly offset by falling costs as the bank cut bonus and compensation payouts.
Jes Staley, group chief executive of Barclays, said: "Three years ago, we took a charge of just under £400m to allow us to better align variable compensation accruals with the firm's revenues.
"What you see in the first quarter is Barclays using this discretion around variable compensation to manage our costs and deliver expected profitability."