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Barclays full-year profits almost triple to £3.2bn in 2016

Barclays has reported a sharp rise in pre-tax profit to £3.2bn for 2016 up from £1.1bn in 2015. City analysts had been expecting profits of £3.97bn.

Barclays said it continued to sell off assets around the world so it could focus on its core UK and US markets.

On Wednesday the bank announced a separation agreement with its Africa unit.

“A year ago we laid out our intention to accelerate the restructuring of Barclays and refocus our business as a transatlantic, consumer, corporate and investment bank, anchored in London and New York,” Jes Staley, Barclays chief executive said in a statement.

“We have made strong progress against this agenda in 2016.”

The company also reduced the amount it paid out in redress to customers £2.7bn to £1bn, but said further conduct issues remain.

Barclays faces fraud charges in the US over the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Revenue increased 7 per cent to £22bn and the bank continued to cut costs, which fell to £13.4bn from £15bn in the previous year, it announced on Thursday.

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The increase in profits led to a surprise increase in its core capital ratio – the key measure of a bank’s strength and ability to withstand financial shocks.

Mr Staley, who took the top job at Barclays a year ago, did not comment on the impact of Brexit on its business. Barclays has been one of the most positive of any of the major banks about Britain’s exit from the EU and has confirmed it will keep its global headquarters in London.

In January he said: “I don’t believe that the financial centre of Europe will leave the city of London. There are all sorts of reasons why I think the UK will continue to be the financial lungs for Europe.

“The bulk of what we do will continue to occur in London in my view.”

Read more at independent.co.uk

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