CEO expresses frustration at conduct issues
FX scandal to cost ‘improving’ Barclays a further £750 million
The bank said its total provisions had risen to £1.69 billion against £485 million a year earlier, of which £1.25bn relates to the currency handling issue.
Chief executive Antony Jenkins today expressed his frustration that bad behaviour continues to cast a shadow over the bank.
Unveiling a 12% rise in pre-tax profits to £5.5 billion, he said such conduct was “wholly incompatible” with the bank’s values and that in spite of progress it still had more work to do to resolve it.
He said the bank made good progress against its Transform 2016 targets during the year on cost, capital, and leverage.
Operating costs reduced by nearly £1.8bn and further reductions are to come in 2015. The bank strengthened its capital position with core tier one ratio – a measure of its reserves – improving to 10.5%.
This takes into account the effect of the disposal of its Spanish business and a further provision in Q4 for ongoing investigations and litigation relating to Foreign Exchange, compared to 9.1% a year ago.
Barclays proposes a final dividend for 2014 of 3.5p per share to be paid on 2 April making a total 6.5p for the year. Total dividends paid to ordinary shareholders increased 23% to £1.06bn.
Taking into account the extra provisions, the bank made a loss of £200m.
Despite progress, Jenkins said that tackling the continuing scandals in the banking sector were a key priority.
“We remain focussed on addressing outstanding conduct issues, including those relating to Foreign Exchange trading. I regard the behaviour at the centre of these investigations as wholly incompatible with our values, and I share the frustration of colleagues and shareholders that matters like these continue to cast a shadow over our business.
“But resolving these issues is an important part of our plan for Barclays and, although it may be difficult, I expect that we will make significant progress in this area in 2015.
“So despite our real progress in 2014, we still have more work to do. We are determined to build on the momentum across the group, to continue to improve returns across our businesses, and to accelerate execution of our plans.”